While important, talking about end-of-life decisions with family and loved ones is never easy or particularly enjoyable. However, New York families may want to consider making a point not just to discuss these important topics but to prepare the relevant documentation well ahead of time. From advance health care directives to durable powers of attorney, the earlier these important legal documents are dealt with, the more prepared everyone involved will be for unforeseen emergencies.
Your health can have a considerable impact on various other aspects of your life. Therefore, you likely want to take the necessary steps to ensure that you take care of your health as best as possible. Of course, in the event of serious illness or injury, you may not have the ability to express your care desires on your own.
For the senior citizens of New York, estate planning, planning for Medicaid and planning for health care and its costs all tend to overlap and go hand in hand. Establishing powers of attorney – quite possibly one of the most important documents an individual can have in regards to estate planning – can have far reaching effects if – and especially if not – done properly. For this reason, it is generally advisable for individuals to forego attempting to fill out the paperwork themselves, especially since a regulation change in late 2016. An attorney with experience in elder law planning can help draft all necessary forms.
While individuals in New York may have heard of advance health care directives, a surprising number do not have one in place. Whether this is due to procrastination, a wish to avoid facing unpleasant issues such as death, or simply a lack of understanding of the issue's magnitude, one thing is clear: there are essentially no negatives or drawbacks to having an advance health care directive. Especially for the elderly, the importance of an advance directive – a living will and a medical power of attorney – is difficult to argue with.
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.
No one wants to think about falling ill or becoming incapacitated. Regrettably, this could mean that some families in New York are left to face difficult medical or financial decisions on their own because an incapacitated loved one previously failed to make his or her wishes known. Situations such as this can be circumvented by formal documentation known as an advance directive.
Imagine a scenario where you are admitted into the hospital with a serious condition. You are unable to speak and are very confused, which makes it all but impossible for you to tell doctors what you want or don't want to happen.