Advanced Healthcare Directives Attorney in Mt. Vernon
Direct the Course of Your Medical Care in Westchester County
Regardless of your age or current medical condition, something can happen that can impact your ability to direct your medical care. Many crises in life can make us unable to make important decisions regarding our medical care. When this happens, the Advanced Healthcare Directives we've prepared through living wills or a Health Care Proxy can help doctors and family members know what we want.
Incapacitation can occur as a result of any of the following:
- Medical conditions such as a coma, stroke, or brain aneurysm
- Degenerative mental diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease
- Other degenerative diseases that can impair communication
- Progression of a debilitating mental illness
- Traumatic brain injuries
At The Browne Firm, our attorney in Mt. Vernon can help you establish Advanced Healthcare Directives in the event you are incapacitated and are unable to voice your wishes. Predetermining medical care choices should you become incapacitated can be an invaluable part of your estate plan. Not only can Advanced Healthcare Directives inform doctors about how you wish to be treated in specific circumstances, but you can also relieve your family of the burden of guessing what your wishes may be.
Advanced Healthcare Directives Can Answer Many Questions
Your medical care expectation can be laid out as you see fit to accommodate a variety of circumstances. For example, you may wish to receive a certain treatment during the late stages of Alzheimer's Disease than you might if you suffered a stroke. You can draw important distinctions to specify your wishes with Advanced Healthcare Directives and Power of Attorney documents prepared by The Browne Firm in Westchester County.
We can help you answer many questions you may have never even considered, such as the following:
- When should doctors focus on your comfort instead of preserving your life?
- Will you be an organ donor when you die?
- Should you be put on a ventilator to help you breathe?
- Can doctors attempt to restart your heart?
- Will medical devices help you swallow or eat?
- Will antibiotics or other drugs be used if you have a terminally ill condition?
Typically intended to cover terminal conditions, a living will tells the doctors whether or not they should provide medical intervention to preserve your life if you're unable to communicate such decisions.
Importantly, anything not specifically addressed by your living will can be interpreted by your doctor. In this case, your family members would have no legal standing to challenge the doctor's treatment. While this may be a downside of a living will for some, others with family members whose beliefs or values differ greatly from their own may prefer a doctor's interpretation.
Health Care Proxy
This document designates someone you trust as an agent to make medical care decisions on your behalf. They can go into effect on a temporary or permanent basis. This differs from a living will in that you do not have to be terminally ill for it to go into effect. Creating such a requirement, however, is possible.
Selecting your agent is serious because this person will have the authority to make life-or-death decisions on your behalf. You should be sure that you can trust them and that they are willing and able to accept this responsibility. You will also want to discuss your values, wishes, or instructions for medical care in-depth with whomever you choose as your agent. Consulting with an attorney in Mt. Vernon can prepare you for assigning someone as your agent in a Health Care Proxy.
Powers of Attorney
A Power of Attorney designates an agent to make important financial decisions for you, should you be medically incapacitated, if you cannot be present, or if you are otherwise unable to make these decisions for yourself. You, as the principal, grants authority to an agent to make various financial decisions, including those involving real property, banking, insurance, tax matters, and more. The terms of the Power of Attorney can be as broad or a limited as you wish. This document is an important tool in the case of physical or mental incapacity, such as due to Alzheimer's disease, a coma, or other serious mental or physical illness when a physician certifies that the principal is unable to make decisions.
A Combined Approach
Our attorney in Westchester County can take a combined approach to plan the course of your medical care. Although you can specify your treatment in a Health Care Proxy, backing it up with a living will can provide a more detailed plan for your medical treatment. Moreover, having a living will in place can matter should your Health Care Proxy agent die or become incapacitated before you can designate someone else.