Advance directives allow you to give directions about your medical care and decisions in advance, so your wishes are carried out if you are incapacitated. They are often drafted as a part of a comprehensive estate plan, but also can be created separately. Our Elma, New York attorneys help individuals and families throughout the Buffalo area and Western New York to prepare advance directives.
New York law allows you to appoint someone you trust — for example a family member or close friend — to make health care decisions for you if you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. By appointing a health care agent, you can make sure that health care providers follow your wishes. Your agent can also decide how your wishes apply as your medical condition changes. Hospitals, doctors and health care providers must follow your agent’s decisions as if they were your own. Some decisions your agent can make may include your wishes concerning artificial nutrition and hydration. A Health Care Proxy does not involve financial powers.
A Living Will is really not a Will, but rather a legal document that states your preferences for medical treatment if you are unable to communicate them yourself. Artificial respiration and artificial nutrition are examples of preferences you can include in your Living Will. A Living Will is commonly a piece of an overall estate plan that also may include a Health Care Proxy to make health care decisions on your behalf.
Call Smolarek Law Offices today at (716) 771-1601 to schedule a consultation with our estate planning attorneys about advance directives. We look forward to speaking with you.