The person you appoint is your “substitute decision maker”. What does this mean and who should I appoint?

This is the legal definition for the person you appoint in the document. You normally make your own decisions for your personal and health care, and when you cannot do this, the person you appoint is obligated to “substitute” for you in providing these instructions. As this person may be making key life and death decisions, or may be deciding whether you age at home or take up residence in an assisted living facility, you should appoint someone you trust, someone available to make decisions, someone capable of making tough decisions at tough times, and someone with whom you have spoken about your decisions. This person is not to decide for you, but is to simply know what you want, and relay these wishes to a medical or health care representative when you are physically or mentally unable to do so.

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