“Expect the unexpected” may be a trite phrase, but it is valuable advice to follow in life, particularly when it comes to managing your affairs. If you are young and relatively healthy, you may not think that you need a power of attorney or other documents in place in the event that you become incapacitated. But whether through an accident or illness, life can change in an instant, and having these documents in place can be critical.
Powers of attorney allow a designated agent, such as a family member or friend, to make medical or legal decisions on your behalf. This is especially important because your affairs will still need to be managed even if you are incapacitated.
A health care proxy will name a person who can make decisions regarding your medical treatment on your behalf and in accordance with your wishes. This legal document will allow you to express your wishes in advance of an illness or injury, such as whether you would want to receive intravenous hydration or nutrition. It may also help to prevent arguments between family members about your care.
At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, we understand that few people want to contemplate their mortality in this way. However, our Long Island powers of attorney lawyers stand ready to help our clients plan for their future based on our experience and knowledge of New York law. Contact our office today at 631-928-8000 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.
How Powers of Attorney Can Remove Unnecessary Burdens on Loved Ones
In New York, a power of attorney is a legal document that appoints an individual (usually called an agent, or an attorney-in-fact) to make decisions and act on your behalf and manage your affairs. With a power of attorney, you have the ability to make the powers of your agent very broad, covering personal, business, and financial matters (General Power of Attorney), or limited in scope (Limited Power of Attorney).
The durable power of attorney is the most common — and important — documents to have as part of your estate plan. A “durable” power of attorney means that it remains in effect unless and until it is specifically revoked. In this way, it can be signed when you have capacity and then becomes effective when you are incapacitated.
A power of attorney gives your agent a substantial amount of power over your affairs. This makes it all the more important that you work with a skilled Long Island powers of attorney lawyer to craft a power of attorney that suits your needs. In addition, a seasoned attorney can advise you as to recent changes to New York law regarding the language used in a power of attorney and how the document is signed.
With a power of attorney in place, some of the burden of an illness or injury can be removed from your loved ones. When you have set forth your wishes in writing, your family members can focus on your recovery, instead of arguing about what you would have wanted or who should take care of your affairs. By taking this step, you can ease one potential difficulty of an unexpected injury or illness.
Health Care Proxies Can Provide Peace of Mind
A health care proxy is a type of power of attorney document that allows you to appoint a person (known as a health care proxy or an agent) to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so. This document may also be known as a health care power of attorney.
This type of document only goes into effect when you become incapacitated, which means that you’re unable to either understand the consequences of your healthcare decisions or that you are unable to communicate those decisions. A durable health care proxy will remain in effect for as long as you are living, unless you revoke it.
A Long Island powers of attorney lawyer can draft a health care proxy to give your agent full legal authority to make medical decisions on your behalf, or to provide only limited authority. One of the most important features of this document is the ability for you to specify the type of treatment you want to receive based on your medical condition.
A health care proxy can give you comfort in knowing that your wishes will be followed regarding your healthcare in the event that you are unable to make decisions. It can also give you peace of mind because it can help to eliminate difficulties between family members, as your desires will be spelled out in the document. For these reasons, this document is an incredibly important part of any comprehensive estate plan.
How a Long Island Powers of Attorney Lawyer Can Help
It is never too early to plan for your future, including what may happen if you become ill or are hurt in an accident. The attorneys of Winkler Kurtz, LLP have more than 75 years of combined experience helping individuals and families with their estate planning needs. We can help you put together a plan for your future. Having a power of attorney or a health care proxy in place can help protect your interests and your wishes if you become incapacitated. It can also ease the strain during an already emotionally fraught time for your family.