and Your Family
Queens Advance Health Care Directive
If you are suffering from a medical condition that leaves you unable to communicate, and you have left clear instructions regarding your medical treatment, according to New York law, your intentions must be followed. For health care decisions, you can create an advance health care directive that will provide details as to your medical treatment preferences. An advance health care directive (AHCD), just like all any estate planning document, is complex and must be executed properly in order to be valid. If you are contemplating creating an advance health care directive, contact an experienced Queens advance health care directive lawyer who will ensure that the document reflects your specific goals, and who will ensure that it is properly executed according to the requirements of New York law.Advance health care directive
An advance health care directive is a legal document, or a collection of legal documents, that states your preferences for health care should some time in the future you become unable to communicate your preferences to your health care professionals or to your family. An advance health care directive can include a health care proxy, a living will, and a Do Not Resuscitate Order.
- Health care proxy. A health care proxy is essentially a durable power of attorney in which you appoint someone, referred to as your health care agent, who will have the legal authority to make health care related decisions for you only if you are incapacitated and cannot speak for yourself. You can name anyone to be your health care proxy, including your spouse, child, parent, or a friend. Regardless of whom you name, you should make sure that he or she knows you well, understands your beliefs, and understands what decisions you would want made.
- Living will. An advance health care directive can also include a living will. A living will is a document that allows you to provide specific instructions for what type of medical care you would like to receive should you become extremely ill and incapacitated. A living will typically addresses what type of life-prolonging treatments that you would or would not prefer to be given, particularly if there is little chance that you will recover and enjoy a reasonable quality of life. Treatments that you may be addressed in an advance health care directive include CPR, use of a respirator, blood transfusions, diagnosis tests, dialysis, drugs, and surgery. Keep in mind that even though a living will is not the same as a last will and testament, in order for a living will to be a legally enforceable document, it must be properly executed. An advance health care directive attorney in Queens can ensure that your living will and other components of your AHCD are properly executed.
- Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR). A DNR is an order that instructs doctors and other health care providers not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should you stop breathing or your heart stops beating.
If you do not have an AHCD your family and your doctors may not be aware of your wishes. As a result, decisions may be made on your behalf that you would not have made. For example, if you would prefer that no CPR be performed on you in event that you stop breathing, but there is not a DNR on file, CPR will be performed.
In addition, if your family does not agree on your care, or your family disagrees with your doctors on a course of treatment for you, in the absence of a health care proxy naming someone to make health care decisions for you the court may have to step in an appoint a conservator to make decisions for you. A conservatorship may result in your wishes not being followed as the conservator may not know what they are. Furthermore, as an advance health care directive attorney serving Queens will explain, the appointment of a conservator may be a drain on your estate as a conservator is paid from the assets of your estate.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
Because of the impact that an advance health care directive can potentially have on your well-being, it is important that you work with an experienced Queens advance health care directive lawyer when creating your AHCD. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience working closely with clients in Nassau County to create advance health care directives and other estate planning and documents that fulfilled the clients' specific goals. Contact us at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.