Legal advice when considering a health proxy in New York

by | Nov 23, 2016 | Estate Planning |

People in New York who are on the go and living what they deem to be a normal, healthy life will not think about – nor want to think about – the possibility of an injury, condition or illness befalling them and rendering them incapable of making their own decisions. It is an unfortunate truth that these issues come up every day, and a large number of people are left without options since they did not take steps to ensure their best interests would be adhered to in the event of tragedy. This is where a health proxy comes in.

Experienced attorneys who are well aware of the realities of life will provide strategies to clients including the importance of a health proxy. Anyone over the age of 18 is well-advised to have a health proxy in which another person has been appointed to be an agent and make the health care decisions if the individual cannot do it for him or herself. At the time a person who is declared an agent in a health care proxy decides on a course of action for the person, the medical professionals must, by law, adhere to it. This would not start until it was determined by a doctor that the person is no longer capable of making his or own decisions.

Many ask why they might need to have a health care proxy, particularly if they are young and in good health. The odds are that they probably will not need to have someone make decisions for them as they will not be in a position where they are injured or ill enough to be unable to do it themselves. However, for those who are unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and have an accident or become unexpectedly ill, a health care proxy is essential.

There are various forms of health care proxy. For example, the other person does not have to be given full control. Limitations can be inherent in the agreement. Having a full understanding of this key aspect of estate planning and how to proceed can be achieved with help from an experienced and qualified attorney. It can happen at any time without warning. Car accidents, sports injuries, a simple slip and fall in the home – all can result in a person being incapacitated. It is then that a health proxy will be needed. An expectant mother will also want to have a health care proxy in the event of a worst case scenario during the pregnancy.