5 Things to Know about a Living Will and Health Care Proxy

Living Wills

Living wills are written to provide legal instructions about your preferences for medical care if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Drafting a Living Will can help ensure that you get the medical care you want, and assist caregivers in the decision-making process. Illness and end-of-life situations can happen at any age, not just to the elderly, therefore everyone should have a living will. Here are 5 basic things that everyone should know about these legal documents:

5 Basics of A Living Will

  • A living Will legally allows people to declare their wishes for end-of-life medical care, in the event they are unable to communicate their decisions.
  • A living Will is also called a directive or advance directive to physicians.
  • A living Will has no power after death and can be revoked at any time.
  • A living Will can take effect as soon as it is signed, or when the person can no longer communicate his or her wishes regarding treatment.
  • The legal requirements for a Living Will include: you must be at least 18 years old, be of sound mind, able to sign documents, or if unable to, have directed someone else to sign them, and depending on state law, have witnesses and/or notary.

If you pass away without leaving specific instructions regarding your assets, properties, and health, someone else (and possibly the courts) will have to make these decisions for you. By having a proper estate plan, you have greater control over what happens to your estate and will provide your loved ones with more reassurance and peace of mind when they need to handle your affairs.

Our legal experts will assist you in preparing the proper documents for your situation and ensure that they are legal for the state of New York. Please contact us at (914) 228-7448 for more information.

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