Make sure your end-of-life decisions are drafted by an experienced attorney.
As we get older, we tend to think more about the final stages of our lives and what our wishes are. All too often, however, we fail to discuss our final plans with our loved ones. When we fail to discuss our final wishes, family members may make assumptions that are not necessarily accurate.
One way to avoid these types of issues is to ensure that you have the necessary written directives that will inform your family members exactly what your last wishes might be. These directives may include do not resuscitate orders, healthcare directives, as well as your wishes for funeral services, burial or cremation.
NEW YORK HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES
It is important to understand that under New York law, a power of attorney is not sufficient to grant a third-party the right to make health care choices for you in your final days. According to law, a New York State health care proxy form is used to designate a trusted adult to take over in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
It is also important to realize that it is nearly impossible to plan for everything that could happen to you in your final days. However, discussing your final wishes including hospital care, nursing home care and do not resuscitate orders with your agent can help ensure that your wishes are carried out as fully as possible.
WHEN DIAGNOSED WITH A TERMINAL ILLNESS
When someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness, once they have six months or less to live they often consider hospice care. In order to plan for this eventuality, it is typically a good idea to discuss your options with your health care agent. Remember, hospice care may be provided in a hospital setting, nursing home, assisted living facility or in your own home. Unless you have discussed your wishes with your health care agent, it would be impossible for them to make the right decision.
FAMILY TRADITIONS TYPICALLY DICTATE
Nearly all families have their own traditions concerning what occurs once someone has passed. In some cases, these traditions are dictated by their faith. However, just because it is traditional in your family to have a two-day wake or a traditional burial, for instance, such events may not comply with your wishes. One way to ensure that your family knows exactly what you want is to put your wishes in writing as they concern your final arrangements. For example, you may not wish to have an open casket at your wake, you may wish to be cremated, or there may be other preferences you wish for your services.
If you are concerned about your end-of-life care, or if you wish your family to deal with your remains in a specific manner, it is helpful to have these directives documented in writing. At Solomon Richman, P.C. we can help you draft directives that provide your loved ones with such guidance. We can also help you make sure that all necessary health care directives are in place should they be needed.
As well-established estate planning attorneys, Solomon Richman, P.C. is available to help you draft all of the documents that will ensure your final wishes are expressed to your loved ones. Call us at (516) 437-6443 to schedule a consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys.