A Health Care Proxy and Living Will are documents that allow your wishes to be carried out should you become incapacitated and unable to care for yourself; such as in the event of a declining mental state or the reliance of life support. Anyone over the age of 18 can and should create a Health Care Proxy and Living Will. As you age, you may become more at risk to ailments and situations where your health and safety may be compromised. The longer you wait, the longer you risk your assets and well-being.
What is a Health Care Proxy and Living Will For?
There are a number of situations where a Health Care Proxy and Living Will may be specified for. In the event that you cannot communicate for yourself, a living will can help create a way for your voice to be heard. The most common uses of a Health Care Proxy and Living Will include: what to do when you are on life support, treatment during a comatose state, treatment when faced with a terminal illness, and designating a relative or agent to make decisions for you. A Health Care Proxy and Living Will allows for your wishes to be stated, and for a designated agent to look after your health for the time being. “Do Not Resuscitate” orders, organ donation plans, and requests to be taken off life support are also commonly found within a Living Will.
Make Your Wishes Known
A Living Will allows your wishes in the event of an unfortunate circumstance to be legally binding. They can be written to be very specific or very vague, and both have their advantages. A specifically written Living Will can allow your attorney to provide your wishes to your next of kin or designated agent exactly as you wanted; but they may not be able to carry all of it out. A more vague document will allow for the assigned agent to make more decisions and make their own judgments while acting within your best interests.
Prevent Confusion in Your Family
If a tragic accident occurs or you fall ill to the point of being incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself, a Health Care Proxy and Living Will can give your family direction. In some cases, if a family member doesn’t have a Health Care Proxy and Living Will, arguments and confusion can occur between them as to what the next step should be. By creating theseis documents, you can avoid such confusion, and designate a clear path of care that is best for you.
Peace of Mind
Ultimately, a Health Care Proxy and Living Will can give you peace of mind. They help give you control of the situations where you are at your most helpless. It is an important step that you should take for yourself, and for your family. Take the time to create a Health Care Proxy and Living Will with an experienced attorney, to protect your interests in the future.
For more than 40 years, our firm has been helping people like you with long term care and estate planning needs. We bring you the knowledge and resources to protect you and your family. Call 718.477.7700 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with an estate planning attorney at Armstrong & Lamberti, PLLC. We proudly serve Staten Island, Brooklyn and the other boroughs of New York City.