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Advance Directives Attorney in Long Island, New York

Healthy and competent adults are allowed to make medical care decisions when the need arises. Unfortunately, an unexpected end-of-life situation can leave you severely ill, incapacitated, and incapable of making or communicating your preferred medical care and treatment procedures. You can plan by creating a strategic end-of-life healthcare plan. Using your advance directives, you can also choose a trusted person to make crucial healthcare decisions on your behalf when required.

If you need assistance when creating your advance healthcare directive or estate plan, you must consult with a knowledgeable New York State estate planning attorney. At Lawrence M. Gordon, Attorney at Law, PC, I’m dedicated to providing experienced legal guidance and comprehensive advocacy to clients in estate planning-related matters. As your legal counsel, I will work to understand your specific issues and help draft the ideal end-of-life healthcare plan that best fits your unique needs.

My firm – Lawrence M. Gordon, Attorney at Law, PC – proudly serves clients across Long Island, New York, and surrounding areas across Bellmore, Suffolk County, and Nassau County.

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What Is an Advance Directive?

An advance directive is a legal document that allows you (the principal) to specify your preferred healthcare treatments and medical procedures in advance. If you become incapacitated, severely ill, disabled, or otherwise unable to make such decisions by yourself, you can choose a trusted person (healthcare representative) to make them on your behalf.

Decisions Covered by an Advance Directive

Here are some decisions covered by an advance care directive:

  • State your goals, values, and preferences concerning medical treatments.

  • Name a trusted person to act as your healthcare representative or agent.

  • Describe the types of life-saving medical treatments or procedures you want or do not want.

  • Provide detailed instructions about healthcare procedures and medical treatments, such as dialysis, artificial nutrition, hydration, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

  • Choose the hospital, health center, or medical facility where you want to receive treatment.

  • Indicate your preference concerning funeral and burial arrangements.

  • Decide if you want to donate your organs, eyes, tissues, and brain.

An experienced lawyer can enlighten you about the topics and decisions covered by an advance healthcare directive and determine whether to choose a health care proxy or create a living will.

Living Will vs. Healthcare Proxy

A healthcare proxy is a person that you choose or name in your advance directive to make vital medical decisions on your behalf. Conversely, a living will is a legal document in which you state your medical wishes. Unlike a healthcare proxy, a living will doesn’t give a third party the authority to make medical decisions for you. Only your doctor or next of kin can make such decisions.

Also, the healthcare proxy will become effective once your physician decides that you are unable to communicate or make health care decisions by yourself. Conversely, a living will usually take effect for life-or-death treatments. An experienced attorney can enlighten you about the strengths and drawbacks of both options and guide you through the process of choosing your healthcare agent.

Healthcare Agent

As mentioned earlier, an advance healthcare directive allows you to name a healthcare representative, proxy, or agent. Your healthcare agent will be responsible for making medical care decisions on your behalf. You can choose a trusted person, such as a family member, friend, or close relative, as your healthcare proxy.

What Are Their Responsibilities?

A healthcare representative has the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Discuss your exact healthcare procedures and preferences with you long before you become incapacitated or seriously ill.

  • Consult with your doctor and other medical professionals

  • Request appointments and second opinions

  • Review your possible medical treatment options and preferences

  • Evaluate your medical records and charts

  • Make medical decisions on your behalf based on your preferences and best interests.

  • Decline or approve medical treatments, tests, and examinations

  • Authorize your transfer to another hospital, medical facility, or clinic when necessary

  • Make life-saving and life-support decisions on your behalf

Once you name a person as your healthcare proxy, ensure that you inform them of their roles and responsibilities. A knowledgeable attorney can enlighten you about other vital documents for your end-of-life healthcare plan and ensure that your advance care directive is detailed, legal, and valid.

Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

A Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form allows you to provide your physician with comprehensive instructions about your medical preferences, such as medications, ratification nutrition, intubation, and other life-sustaining treatment procedures.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Directive

A DNR directive is an order created by a principal instructing your doctor not to administer any life-saving procedures such as CPR. The DNR directive allows you to state when you want – or do not want – to be resuscitated.

Information and instructions provided using the POLST form and DNR directive make it easier for your doctors and caregivers to make critical decisions concerning your healthcare preference, treatments, and procedures when the need arises.

Making Modifications

However, you should review your advance directive from time to time to ensure that it agrees with your present wishes. You can modify the end-of-life healthcare plan by completing written statements that describe the modifications you want to make. Also, inform your healthcare proxy about the new adjustments. A skilled advance directive can guide you through the modification process and ensure that it is clearly written, well-executed, and valid.

Work With a Knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney

Creating a vital estate planning document like an advance care directive can never be too early. If you become incapacitated, seriously ill, or unable to communicate your medical wishes, you can avoid needless suffering and save your doctor or care providers the stress of making such medical care decisions for you. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help you understand your available options and decide the ideal end-of-life healthcare plan for you.

At Lawrence M. Gordon, Attorney at Law, PC, I have the experience, diligence, and resources to assist and guide clients through drafting their estate plans. As your legal counsel, I can enlighten you about the advance healthcare directive process and help you prepare the necessary documentation for your end-of-life care plan. Also, I can help create vital estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorneys, and help you navigate crucial decisions in your estate planning.

Advance Directives Attorney
Serving Long Island, New York

If you or someone you know needs proper guidance when drafting advance healthcare directives, call my firm – Lawrence M. Gordon, Attorney at Law, PC – today to schedule a simple consultation. I can offer you the personalized legal counsel and reliable advocacy you need to make intelligent decisions when drafting your estate planning documents. My firm serves clients across Long Island, Bellmore, Suffolk County, and Nassau County, New York.