Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario: How Do I Choose A Health Care Agent?

Question: How do I choose a health care agent?

Answer: I frequently get asked how does one choose a health care agent and whether or not there are specific criteria that a person should consider in naming an agent.

Coming up with the right fit can be a challenge, particularly if your spouse or partner has predeceased you, or if he or she has health challenges of his or her own. Here is a list of considerations when choosing a health care agent:

• Does my agent know how I want to be treated and how I wish health care decisions to be made?
• Can my agent be an advocate for my wishes?
• Does my agent possess good communication skills?
• Will my agent be available when she might be called upon to assist? (what are her family constraints, how far away does she live, etc.)
• Does my agent understand the competing family dynamics?
• Will my agent be able to carry out my wishes despite his own beliefs and concerns?
• Is my agent a detailed oriented person who can not only make rational health decisions but also navigate the health care system?

Hopefully, this list is helpful. It is obviously not an exhaustive list, but should give you a good start in thinking about the issues.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact Steve Shane at or 301.575.0313.


Steve Shane Casual Small | 301.575.0313

Steve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates.



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