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LIVING WILL & HEALTH CARE PROXY ATTORNEY IN ROCHESTER NY

A health care proxy appoints someone to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to make them yourself. A living will nominates someone to make end of life decisions in the event you cannot live without assistance and will not recover. Absent documents such as these, family members can dispute who makes those decisions, often leading to substantial legal fees.

It is important that these documents be drafted by an attorney so that they reflect your wishes within the bounds of state law. An experienced attorney will include many enhancements and nuanced language which you will not find on physician provided forms, and will guide you through the execution process so that your documents are legal and valid.



LIVING WILL & HEALTH CARE PROXY FAQ

Can you have both a living will and a healthcare proxy?
Yes. These are two completely different documents. A living will appoints someone to make end of life decisions on your behalf. A healthcare proxy makes general healthcare decisions on your behalf when you cannot provide meaningful advice to your treating physician.

What is the difference between a living will and a health care proxy?
A living will appoints someone to make end of life decisions on your behalf. A healthcare proxy makes general healthcare decisions on your behalf when you cannot provide meaningful advice to your treating physician.

What can a healthcare proxy do?
A healthcare proxy makes general healthcare decisions on your behalf when you cannot provide meaningful advice to your treating physician.

Can a healthcare proxy make financial decisions?
No.

How long is a health care proxy valid?
Until it is revoked or until death.

Can a health care proxy override the patient?
Only if the treating physician determines the patient can no longer make meaningful healthcare decisions.

Does a healthcare proxy have to be notarized?
Execution requirements vary from state to state.

How many health care proxy can you have?
Appointing more than one person to act at any given time is an invitation to costly litigation.

Can a healthcare proxy get medical records?
Only if the document includes a HIPAA release as well.

Is your spouse automatically your health care proxy?
No. The failure to appoint a health care agent frequently leads to costly litigation between family members.

Do you need a lawyer for a health care proxy?
While you can generally find generic forms or hospital forms, you should have your documents prepared by an attorney who focuses on trusts, estates, and elder law to avoid costly mistakes and litigation between family members.

What happens if you don't have a health care proxy?
The hospital may request a guardian appointed on your behalf who will make decisions for you. This is a complex and costly process that may cut out your family.

How much does a healthcare proxy cost?
A healthcare proxy and living Will are typically included as part of every estate plan. They are rarely prepared as a standalone document by an attorney and prices can vary dramatically.

Who needs a health care proxy?
Everyone over 18 years of age who is legally competent.

What's the difference between health care proxy and power of attorney?
A health care proxy makes healthcare decisions when you are unable. A power of attorney appoints someone to make financial decisions on your behalf based on your instructions, or if you are unable to give instructions, only in your best interests.

What do you call the person who makes medical decisions?
A health care agent.

Can a POA override a DNR?
No. An agent under a power of attorney can only make financial decisions on your behalf.

What document combines a living will and a health care power of attorney?
It is common practice for most attorneys to execute one document that combines a health care proxy, a living will, and a HIPAA release.

Which end-of-life document do you think is best living wills or health care proxies?
A living will appoints someone to make end of life decisions on your behalf. A healthcare proxy makes general healthcare decisions on your behalf when you cannot provide meaningful advice to your treating physician.

Who can overrule a health care representative in a living will?
To the extent that the documents contradict each other, the issues will need to be litigated which is costly and time consuming. The best practice is to hire an attorney to draft one document which combines a living will, a health care proxy, and HIPAA release.

Where to keep your living will and health care proxy?
With the advent of electronic medical records, you should provide a copy to your primary treating physician who will make sure your advanced health care directives remain in your file.
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RICHARD A. KROLL
ATTORNEY

Richard A. Kroll, Esq. has an active practice in the area of Estate Planning, Trusts, and Probate. He is a member of the...

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CAROLYN A. REARDON
ATTORNEY

Private practice in Rochester, New York with the Kroll Law Firm since 2007, a group practice in Brighton, New York with emphasis on...

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MARCUS W. KROLL
ATTORNEY

Marcus's practice involves estate planning for all families, including LGBT couples, second marriages, and families who have members with...

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