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It is impossible to put a price tag on health. Your health is likely the most valuable asset you own. Even if you have managed to avoid a serious illness or significant injury so far, your luck may eventually run out. If it does, you may have difficulty making your own medical decisions. 

If you cannot think or speak, you want someone to make the same decisions you would make. Designating a durable power of attorney for health care is a good way to ensure your doctors, friends and family members respect your wishes. Nonetheless, you must be sure you name the correct person as your health care agent. Here are three qualities effective ones typically have. 

  1. Understanding

Your health care agent does not have to have in-depth knowledge about medicine or medical procedures. On the other hand, if you have a chronic condition, your health care power of attorney should have some knowledge of it. He or she should also have a basic understanding of your goals and values. 

  1. Assertiveness

If you cannot make your own medical decisions, your relatives and friends may try to supplant their wishes over yours. Accordingly, your health care agent should be assertive. After all, he or she may have to risk alienating those close to you to protect your wishes. 

  1. Proximity

If someone is far away, it may be difficult to serve as a health care agent. The person may have to spend a significant amount of time near you during a medical crisis. So, you may want to designate a health care power of attorney who lives nearby. Regardless, you should explore how your potential health crisis may affect the everyday life of your agent. 

The person you choose as your health care power of attorney may eventually be an essential advocate for your medical objectives. Designating one is not something you should take lightly. By looking for a few important qualities, you can likely make the right choice.