When New Yorkers are preparing for the future by creating strategies for an estate plan, there are certain aspects of it that can be difficult. While it is known that everyone’s life is finite and the end is unavoidable, it can be difficult to think about a time when end of life planning is needed. However, those who have strong feelings on end of life care must make certain their estate plan addresses their wishes for such a time. In these cases, an advanced medical directive is important. To understand how to craft the document properly, legal advice is a must.

The advanced medical directive will state the person’s wishes for how they will be cared for in the event of a medical emergency if they are unable to communicate with family members and medical professionals. For example, the medical directive can clearly state that a person wants certain treatments, but does not want others. They are not required to give a reason for it. It could be due to a personal belief that these treatments are not how they want to live; it could be based on religious beliefs; or there could be no reason at all – just a preference.

It can list what the person wants in terms of donating organs; state that they want a do not resuscitate (DNR) if it is needed to maintain life; there can be medical orders for life-sustaining treatment (MOLST) such as a respirator, a feeding tube and other devices and options; and it can make contingencies so pain can be eased, but the medical issues that are occurring and causing the pain are not treated. Obviously, this is hard to think about, but preparation is always a wise step to ensure the person’s desires are adhered to.

For this and other important points in drafting estate planning documents, legal advice is essential. The documents must be clear and organized. Failure to make sure that every eventuality is covered could result in treatment being given when the person did not want it. A law firm that has helped many people with their estate planning goals should be contacted for assistance and advice with an advanced health care directive and it should be done as soon as possible.