In naming a Health Care Agent, it is usually easiest to name one agent to serve at a time, with at least one successor, or back-up person, in case the first person is not available when needed. However, there may be good reasons for selecting more than one person to serve at a time as well, such as a desire to include all of the patient’s children.
If the patient chooses more than one person they will need to include how they want decisions to be made (i.e., all must agree versus majority rule). It is also possible to include a request that the primary agent consult with others, be it family members or a close friend with greater medical knowledge, while still leaving only one final decision maker.
If the best agent lives far away, it is possible to name someone the patient trusts who lives nearby to serve as a temporary agent until your choice agent is able to come to the treatment facility, if the person the patient most trusts to make the ultimate decisions lives far away.
If there are no good choices among family members or friends, there are professional fiduciaries who can serve as agents.
An attorney familiar with disability planning can help the patient to think through the pros and cons of various arrangements and think creatively about solutions to potential problems that might arise.
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