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  • Nicole J. Zuvich

Advanced directives necessary for elder New Yorkers

Updated: Sep 27

No one likes dealing with the uncomfortable reality that we won’t live forever.  One way to assuage the pressure of end of life medical advice is to prepare an advanced directive.  An advanced directive prepared by an attorney is a legal instrument that informs all interested parties about the wishes of someone who may be incapacitated. Advanced directives are extremely beneficial in emergency situations and when a person is nearing the end of their life.

Living wills and power of attorney

The two main types of advanced directives are living wills and power of attorney (also known as a health care proxy in certain states). New York state law recognizes the health care proxy and the living will as the two main forms of advanced directives and also allows for DNR (do not resuscitate) orders (as long as they are validly executed).  To validly execute a DNR in New York state an individual need to have legal capacity, although it can be made in writing or verbally.  It is best practice to have all advanced directives in writing (prepared by an attorney) so there is no confusion and that the directives of the individual are clearly and accurately followed.

An attorney can help you prepare your estate plan

End of life decisions are already emotionally taxing and having a little preparation can make an extremely difficult decision slightly easier.  Having a qualified estate planning attorney can provide emotional support as well as walk you through the process step-by-step ensuring that all of the individuals wishes are followed as closely as possible.

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