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  • Nicole J. Zuvich

Key points about a selecting a health care proxy in New York

Updated: Sep 27

There are many aspects of estate planning that New Yorkers should consider as they prepare the document that best suits their needs. For some, a health care proxy is crucial so they can make certain their wishes are adhered to and a trusted person is making the decisions in their stead if they are unable to do so themselves. The health care proxy law is specific in the decisions the health care agent can make. There are key points about health care proxies that should be understood from the start. For such critical decisions, having legal advice is a wise step.

Health proxies, their legal rights and selecting a suitable person

A person who decides to name a health care agent should know that the agent will have the right to make decisions about receiving artificial nutrition through a feeding tube or in other ways if the person cannot do it for themselves. The agent can also decide not to allow the person to be given life-saving treatment, artificial respiration and more to keep them alive. The agent has access to the person’s health care records and information and can share it as he or she sees fit. The decisions are final, but there can be objections from family members and the validity will be determined by the court.

When selecting a health care agent, it should not be taken lightly. The person should be trustworthy and competent. He or she must be at least 18-years-old. It can be anyone the person wants. It can include a spouse, a child, a relative, a friend or an attorney. Trust is a fundamental part of selecting a health care agent. Even if the agent does not agree with the concept of artificial respiration, knowing that the person’s wishes will be carried out is imperative. The agent must be comfortable with the responsibility and willing to uphold the duties.

Legal assistance with a health care proxy is important

A health care proxy is a method of protection for a person who does not want health care decisions undefined and unknown. As people age, a potential health emergency grows increasingly likely. Such documents as a do not resuscitate (DNR), an order to donate organs, the type of care a person will and will not receive and more may be necessary. To create an effective and legal health care proxy, having advice and guidance from an experienced estate planning legal professional can be helpful from the start.

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