Most people have a vision for how their last days should be spent and how they should be medically treated. For your family, it is important to them that your wishes are explicitly followed. When you are not prepared for the unexpected, like incapacitation, your family is left reeling with the decision of what to do for you in your last days. We recognize that these issues are hard to discuss, but helping your family avoid the stress of making these decisions with uncertainty is best. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys are ready to help you develop a plan that ensures that your wishes are honored and helps your family focus on healing. For a confidential consultation with our Rockland County Elder Law attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm.
If you are not able to make decisions for yourself regarding your medical care, creating healthcare directives can help you ensure that your wishes are followed. After you are determined to no longer have the ability to make decisions for yourself by a doctor, an advanced healthcare directive can take effect. It is important to know that it also terminates if you regain capacity. There are several forms of advance healthcare directives, including:
Executing a living will is a simple process with a simple form. Once complete, a living will should be signed and dated. It is best to sign this document in front of a witness to further secure the durability of the living will. For a health care proxy, it is important to note that a person must sign this document in front of two witnesses, neither of which can be the agent or alternate agent. You may revoke your living will and health care proxy at any time. You can do this orally or in writing or by any act that clearly demonstrates that you wish to revoke the document. When making these important decisions, it is important to discuss your situation with an attorney that can ensure that all requirements are followed and these documents are durable in the eyes of the law.
The agent is the person you choose to carry out your wishes and make decisions about your health care if you become incapacitated. You may choose almost anyone to act as your agent, including a close friend or family member. This person should be someone you trust to make these serious decisions. They should clearly understand your wishes and be willing to accept this significant responsibility. If you wish, you may want to appoint a second person to act as your alternate agent in case the first person is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you. If you were to choose your spouse as your agent, the health care proxy will be revoked automatically if you legally separate or divorce. There are some people who may not be chosen as your agent, including the administrator, operator, or employee of a hospital where you are a patient or resident unless you are related to them by marriage, blood or adoption.
The Lauterbach Law Firm is committed to preparing our clients for every possible outcome. Though it may be a discussion one would like to put off for as long as possible, it is important that your life ends on your terms. If you are interested in finding out more about how to plan for the unexpected, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm for a consultation.