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Top Five Reasons to Sign a New York Health Care Proxy

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For all you New Yorkers who still do not have a Health Care Proxy, here are the Top Five Reasons you should sign a New York Health Care Proxy:

1. Choose your own agent. By signing a health care proxy, you maintain control over who can make medical decisions in case you can’t make them for yourself.

a. Your proxy should be someone you trust to carry out your instructions as they make health care decisions for you. (e.g. spouse, adult child, parent, adult sibling, trusted friend, etc.)

b. Discuss your wishes with your agent so he or she is not left guessing.

2. Set the scope. You decide the extent to which your chosen health care agent has authority to act.

a. You decide if your health care agent can make all health care decisions or only certain ones.

i. consent to surgery,

ii. choice of physician,

iv. access to medical information, and

v. decisions regarding organ donation.

b. You can give your health care agent instructions that he or she has to follow.

3. Avoid over/under zealous medical treatment. Your health care agent can make sure that health care providers follow your wishes.

4. Allow flexibility. Your health care agent can be flexible in his/her decision-making as to how your wishes apply if your medical condition changes.

5. Plan for the unknown. The health care proxy and the authority of your health care agent are limited to situations where you lose the ability to make decisions yourself.

    • Nobody plans to get sick, especially so sick that they cannot make medical decisions on their own.
    • However, such situations are common and could be caused by a heart attack, stroke, loss of consciousness, aneurism, car accident, etc.

Don’t leave your loved ones wondering what you would do.  Don’t overlook the health care proxy as an important advanced directive and an important part of your estate plan.

Get Professional Advice from a New York Estate Planning Attorney

Of course, anytime you plan to make or revise an estate plan, you should always work with a qualified Westchester County estate planning lawyer. Contact the offices of Meyer & Spencer, PC, to schedule an estate planning consultation today.

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