Do Millennials need a health care proxy in Massachusetts?

Young people should make themselves aware of the importance of having a health care proxy to ensure their life decisions are fulfilled.

Most young people in Massachusetts are often too caught up thinking about their careers and education to give much thought to the end of their lives, especially because they have so much to see, do and experience before they reach "the end of the road." That being said, the young, old and everyone in between should give thought to who will make decisions regarding their health care if they are ever unable to do so themselves. Learning why even young people need a health care proxy could ensure they always have someone looking out for their best interests and desires if they are ever unable to make such decisions themselves.

Knowledge is power

Even the most well-educated person might not be aware of what a health care proxy is. For most young people, they figure their parents will step in to make health care decisions on their behalf. While that is true, parents are no longer legally allowed to access their child's medical records or make decisions regarding their son or daughter's health or medical care without express permission after their child turns 18.

Keep arguing to a minimum

Tempers often flare when it comes to major health issues and complications concerning loved ones, and that is especially true when loved ones are not able to respond or make choices under their own power. By having a health care proxy, Millennials do not have to worry as much about their family members arguing over medical decisions or what the young patient would want. There is also a chance the patient would rather have a friend or significant other to make all necessary decisions on his or her behalf rather than a family member.

Desires are fulfilled

Not everyone shares their end-of-life wishes with everyone. For instance, a person might want to be cremated rather than buried, or he or she may not want to remain on life support after a specific period of time. Living wills and health care proxies are the way to go when it comes to making sure one's wishes are fulfilled and done so according to what the person would truly want. Having a will and health care proxy also helps to take off the emotional turmoil that can come with not knowing for certain what an incapacitated loved one would want.

Massachusetts Millennials, middle-aged people and members of the elderly community alike should all make sure they have someone in their corner when it comes to the most essential decisions in life. Speaking with an attorney to learn more is always advisable, as is getting started ASAP on such estate planning matters.