Even if you have been mostly healthy through your adult life, you may eventually become incapable of making medical decisions for yourself. Fortunately, Ohio law allows you to designate a person to do the job for you. That is, you can name a medical power of attorney to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

It can be difficult to contemplate medical emergencies and end-of-life care. No one enjoys planning for potential incapacitation. Still, if you do not think about future medical decisions, you may suffer certain consequences. Here are three of them.

  1. You may lose control 

You do not want to assume that a healthy past ensures a healthy future. On the contrary, even if you have had few medical problems in your life, you may eventually develop dementia, Alzheimer’s or another debilitating condition. If you do not name a medical POA, you may have little control over medical procedures, end-of-life care and other important aspects of your health.

  1. You may encourage conflict

When you designate a medical POA, you spell out your health care wishes in clear terms. If you do not have one, though, your family members, friends and others may argue about what is best for you. If you want to minimize potential conflict, naming a medical POA is an effective way to achieve the objective.

  1. You may waste money

If you become incapacitated without naming a medical POA, your loved ones may have to ask a judge to name a conservator. Like virtually all court proceedings, this process can be quite expensive. If your relatives disagree about your care, costs may skyrocket. Naming a medical POA is likely a much more cost-effective strategy.

Like every Ohio resident, you can benefit from comprehensive estate planning. When creating your plan, be sure you name someone who can make medical decisions on your behalf.  After all, you want to have a say in your medical care, even if you cannot express your wishes when they matter most.