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Mahopac Advance Directives For Health Care: What To Consider


When you are considering estate planning in Mahopac or elsewhere in Putnam County, there are a number of issues and elements that you will want to think about. As you may already know, nearly everyone should think about drafting a will, and other estate planning tools like trusts can also be beneficial to many people in New York. Yet there are also other documents and tools to consider. Advance directives make up one area of estate planning that is also extremely important but that may be less known to many people. The term “advance directives” refers to a range of legal documents that let people voice health care decisions for themselves in the event that they cannot later voice those decisions themselves due to incapacitation. Advance directives are governed by state law, and it is important to understand how they work and how they can be beneficial to you. Our experienced Mahopac estate planning lawyers can provide you with more information.

There Are Three General Kinds of Advance Directives in New York

Depending upon the state you are in, the term “advance directives” will refer to various types of documents. In addition, the state that you are in may use a particular term for a certain type of advance directive that is different from a name or term used in another state. The New York Attorney identifies three types of advance directives for health care decision making in New York, which include the following:

  • Health care proxy, which is often known as a health care power of attorney in other states;
  • Living will; and
  • DNR, or a “do not resuscitate” order.

Each of these types of advance directives gives you an opportunity to play an important role in your health care later on even if you become incapacitated and cannot indicate your specific wishes for certain types of care (or your wishes to cease care under certain circumstances).

You Should Consider Multiple Types of Advance Directives

When you are considering advance directives, it is important to know that you should not be picking one of the above three types of advance directives. To be sure, each of the above types of advance directives does something different, so it is important to consider multiple types of advance directives. For people who want to prevent resuscitation under certain circumstances, you should likely have all three types of advance directives. For those who are not interested in a DNR, you should still work with a lawyer to draft a health care proxy form and a living will.  It should be noted that in New York, attorneys cannot issue DNR orders.  These orders are issued by doctors usually in consultation with the agent you have appointed in your Health Care Proxy.

What do these documents do? With a health care proxy form, you are able to name another person who can serve as your agent and can make certain health care decisions on your behalf when you cannot do so yourself due to incapacitation. With a living will, you can provide clear information in writing about your decisions about end-of-life care and whether or not you want to receive life support. A living will does not allow you to list your wishes concerning various types of care in a range of circumstances, which means that you will also need to name a person on your health care proxy form who can make decisions for you when the moment arises.

Contact a Mahopac Estate Planning Lawyer

If you have questions about estate planning or advance directives, you should get in touch with one of the experienced Mahopac estate planning attorneys at Meyer & Spencer, PC today.



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