Everyone should appoint someone they trust to become their designated agent, especially if you are in a committed relationship (not married) and/or if you have a strained relationship with your closest living relative. Should you become incapacitated due to illness, aging, or injury, your designated agent will have the authority to make decisions regarding your medical care. Some family members have been burdened in tough situations where they didn't have the power to give their loved one the care they needed because that same loved one was in a coma and the next of kin was nowhere to be found or refused to act. Don't let this happen to you or your partner in life. Also, this medical power of attorney will also help in those situations where hospital policy will not allow your partner to visit you while you are incapacitated. If your partner is your designated agent, they will be a part of the decision-making process. The decision belongs to you so seize the day and talk with your loved ones about all the what-ifs. Then, call an attorney you trust to assist in the process of drafting the documents and customizing them to your situation.