An advance healthcare directive can offer peace of mind

When an elderly parent or loved one is in need of hospitalization, it can be stressful for everyone involved. Seniors may be faced with difficult medical decisions they are no longer capable of making for themselves. Planning in advance for such an eventuality can help remove some of the uncertainty that inevitably accompanies a situation of this type, which is why many families in New York often choose to consult with an elder law attorney and prepare an advance health care directive.

These advance directives can prove invaluable when a situation unexpectedly arises and the elderly individual is unable to make his or her wishes known. If planned properly, the agent named in the directive will already have been made aware of these wishes and will be able to speak on the individual's behalf. For this reason, it can be helpful to review an advance health care directive even after one has been established, in case the individual's wishes change.

Something it can be beneficial to remember is that the choices outlined within the directive may be emotional ones; regardless of how difficult they might be, the agent must be capable of executing the orders when the situation calls for it. For this reason, some people choose to select someone other than a family member, as another individual may be less prone to having his or her judgment clouded by emotion. Regardless of who is selected, it is still good practice to go over the directive every so often, in case laws change in the meantime, or personal dynamics with the agent change.

Having an established advanced health care directive can provide peace of mind for all involved, allowing family members to concentrate on the daily care and well-being of their elderly loved one. A New York elder planning attorney will be familiar with all legal aspects of the planning process. A lawyer who has experience with living wills and advanced health care directives can offer invaluable guidance throughout.

Source:, "Advanced Healthcare Directives And Your Family", Jordan Murray, Feb. 3, 2017

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