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advance health care directives Archives

Knowledgeable guidance for advance health care directive planning

For aging residents of New York, preparing for the future doesn't always just mean planning for future generations. Beyond wills, trusts and beneficiaries, one oft-overlooked aspect of elder care planning is that of an advance health care directive. What, exactly, is this official document and why is it so important?

Few have advance health care directives, despite known importance

From Medicaid to living wills, one would be hard-pressed to find anyone who claimed planning for end-of-life care in New York isn't important. However, admitting an issue is imperative and actually taking steps to address it are two separate things. Despite the fact that elder law attorneys and others in the United States have been promoting advance health care directives for almost half a century, a recent study reveals that only approximately 30 percent of adults have one.

New York City advance health care directive can help prevent pain

Anyone can potentially benefit from a living will. However, having one is especially important for aging residents of New York City. A living will, which is a type of advance health care directive, communicates an individual's preferences regarding medical treatment in the event that he or she becomes incapable of expressing those wishes.

Executing powers of attorney for later means peace of mind now

No caring New York family wants to entertain the thought of a time when their elderly loved ones may become unable to make communicate their wishes for the health care they wish to receive or, in some cases, forego. Additionally, few individuals wish to consider the fact that they may eventually be unable to make sound financial decisions for themselves. However, without planning for such eventualities, these important issues are often put off until it is already too late for the elderly individuals to make their desires known. Advance planning includes a variety of legal decisions, but some of the most important to both the individual and his or her family include an advance medical directive and powers of attorney.

Prepare a living will and powers of attorney as early as possible

Responsible aging New York residents may believe they have completed their estate planning when they have drawn up a will and designated how their assets will be distributed. In truth, however, this is only part of planning for the future. Just as important is creating a plan for health care decisions and financial security in the unfortunate but all-too-real possibility that aging will result in a deterioration of mind or body or the equally possible chance that unforeseen tragedy will strike. This essential documentation is referred to as a living will and powers of attorney.

Planning advance health care directives before it is too late

Aging residents of New York may believe, like most people, that there will always be time to plan for the future. Many know that preparing advance health care directives is important, but taking time out of the present to deal with potentially unpleasant issues of the future is not an inviting prospect. However, there will likely come a time when, if certain eventualities have not been carefully planned out ahead of time, that medical decisions may be made on the person's behalf that run contrary to what the individual would have wanted.

The importance of preparing advance health care directives early

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.

How many copies of your health care proxy do you need?

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.

Value of legal counsel when drafting New York powers of attorney

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.

Planning ahead in New York with a living will

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.

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