Westchester & Putnam County Advance Directives Lawyer
If there comes a time you cannot manage your own assets or make your own health care choices, advance directives allow you to maintain some level of autonomy.
It’s your right to choose who will manage your financial affairs and make health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Advance directives are written instruments giving others—family members, friends, financial institutions, doctors, hospitals, etc.—advance instructions or “directives” on how to manage your finances and health care if you cannot do so yourself. A comprehensive incapacity plan will include the use of a power of attorney, an appointment of a health care proxy, and a living will to ensure your wishes are honored and respected.
A power of attorney is one of the simplest and easiest ways to ensure you decide who will oversee managing all your assets.
A power of attorney allows you to grant general or limited authority to an agent who will be able to act on your behalf. You can create a general power of attorney to allow your agent to act for you in virtually all transactions, or you can create a limited power of attorney giving an agent authority to act for you only in specific situations. Either way, when you create a power of attorney as part of your incapacity plan, you need to make sure the power of attorney is durable. This means it will remain in effect in the event of incapacity, so your agent can act when you cannot.
A health care proxy allows you to designate an individual to make health care decisions for you—according to your preferences—in the event you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
When you create a power of attorney, you should also name a health care proxy. This person can be the same person as the agent for your general power of attorney, or someone else you select. Your health care proxy can make decisions for you on the types of medical treatment you wish to receive. The document itself will provide for specific powers, such as consent to surgery, choice of physician, access to medical information, and decisions regarding organ donation. An appointment of health care proxy is only effective if you are incapable of making your own health care decisions.
A living will saves your loved ones from having to make the most difficult decisions regarding your medical treatment.
A living will is an advance directive that allows you to express your wish as to whether you want your life artificially prolonged in the event of a terminal illness or injury. Your living will only becomes effective when your attending physician certifies in writing that you have an incurable injury, disease, or illness, your death will occur within a short time, and the use of life-prolonging procedures, such as CPR or a feeding tube, will only serve to artificially extend your life. A living will is only effective if you are incapable of making decisions regarding your own medical care.
Contact us about advance directives, and never lose control over what happens to your person and your property.
Meyer & Spencer, PC understands New York laws for creating a power of attorney, health care proxy, and living will. We can help you take the formal legal steps necessary to plan ahead in case of incapacity, and maintain a degree of autonomy no matter what happens to you in the future. To learn more about our services, and to get started on your incapacity plan, contact our offices in Pleasantville or Mahopac today.