Legal Help For Advance Medical Directives
Health care concerns are understandably the single largest issue facing the elderly in America today. As our parents and grandparents age, navigating the system of options for immediate and long-term care becomes more and more confusing and frustrating. Without legal help, clients lose out on benefits available through advanced planning, as well as Medicaid and the Veterans Administration.
Health Care Lawyer Helping The Elderly And People With Special Needs
From our main offices in Smithtown and Bay Shore, we at Futterman, Lanza & Pasculli, LLP, regularly advise clients on their best legal options, including services such as:
- Health care proxies or surrogates
- Living wills and advance health care directives
- Appropriate Medicaid and Medicare services
- Home care and long-term nursing home care services
The Right Documents And Directives To Give You Authority To Make Decisions
Our experienced lawyers believe everyone can benefit from a legal plan to address these issues. The elderly are not the only ones who should think about advance medical directives. During any time of life, health care proxies and powers of attorney are important considerations.
Despite the misgivings these documents can cause because of religious and financial concerns, they can be used to prepare for worst-case scenarios. By taking action now, you can ensure your wishes are carried out if you are ever unable to voice them.
What Is A Health Care Proxy?
A health care proxy or agent is created when one individual (“principal”) designates another to act as “agent” with respect to decisions regarding the individual’s (“principal’s”) health care. This document becomes effective only when the “principal” is no longer capable of communicating or can no longer competently make his/her own decisions.
- Without an agent or proxy to do so, health care decisions may be relegated to medical staff or possibly the courts. New York state’s Proxy Law requires the “principal” to specifically address the issue of artificial nutrition and hydration with the “agent” or the agent may not be heard with regard to these treatments.
- Obviously, one should be very careful in making a decision as to who should be their agent with respect to health care. It is good practice to keep an original health care proxy directive on one’s person, with one’s physician and to give one to the “agent.”
- One may only designate one individual to act as their agent with respect to health care. However, in the event that the individual fails to act for any reason, an alternate “agent” may be designated. New York state requires two witnesses’ signatures on health care proxy directives.