When creating an advance health care directive, can I limit the authority of my agent for health care decisions?

When creating an estate plan, most people opt to execute an advance health care directive. This important document allows you to appoint someone to make health care decisions on your behalf. It is important to note, however, that you can limit some of the authority given to this individual. To do so, you must specifically address these limitations when creating the document.

10 Options for Limiting an Agent’s Authority Under an Advance Health Care Directive

What are some of the limitations that you can impose on your agent? You can limit your agent’s ability to do the following:

  1. Consent or refuse consent for specific types of care, treatment, service, or procedures.
  2. Select or discharge your health care providers or institutions.
  3. Approve or deny specific diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, or programs of medication.
  4. Decide whether or not you should receive artificial nutrition or hydration.
  5. Decide whether or not you should receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  6. Make anatomical gifts.
  7. Authorize an autopsy.
  8. Allow for you to be cremated.
  9. Withhold or administer life-sustaining treatment.
  10. Withhold or administer pain medications.

Deciding how best to craft an advance health care directive that meets your needs and goals is an important part of the estate planning process. Your attorney can walk you through each option to ensure that you fully understand the decisions you make when creating this important document. Your attorney can also help ensure that you are making the best choices for your estate plan.