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Living Wills

Brooklyn Living Will Lawyers Help You Communicate Your Wishes Regarding Emergency Medical Treatment

New York attorneys ease the burden on your family members

A well-thought-out estate plan includes advance directives for healthcare decisions to be made at a time when you may be unable or unwilling to make those decisions yourself. At Goldberg Sager & Associates, our Brooklyn living will lawyers can help you create a valid document that specifies the type of medical treatment you wish to have if you are suffering from a terminal illness or are in a persistent vegetative state. It can also appoint a trusted person to serve as your agent in making treatment decisions. Creating such a document can greatly reduce the stress and emotional turmoil your family might experience in these extreme situations. The lawyers at our firm are committed to giving you the personalized legal guidance and sound advice you need.

What is a living will and why is it important?

A living will is a document that allows you to exercise control of your own medical treatment in circumstances where you cannot express your wishes. The benefits of executing a living will include these:

  • Relieving your loved ones of the burden of decision making
  • Preventing disputes from arising among loved ones who hold differing opinions
  • Preventing medical professionals from acting on their own

Once you have created your living will, you can have peace of mind, knowing this important matter is settled.

The process of creating a living will in New York

A living will, also known as an advance healthcare directive, should be carefully structured according to your wishes. The most intricate part of the process is your selection of the lifesaving procedures that you feel are appropriate for your age, health and life circumstances. You can select or opt out of:

  • Artificial nutrition and hydration
  • CPR
  • Medical resuscitation
  • Defibrillation
  • Palliative care
  • Intubation
  • Life support

You should research these matters carefully and consult with your physician, clergy and loved ones prior to deciding. Once you have made your selections, you must sign the living will in the presence of two witnesses, who must also sign.

Choosing a healthcare agent for your living will

Your living will also allows you to designate an agent, known as a healthcare proxy, to make medical decisions in your behalf if you should become incapacitated. A common example is an extended coma. You should select an agent, as well as an alternate, who has these qualifications:

  • Ability to process complex information and make level-headed decisions
  • Willingness to honor your wishes
  • Availability in the event of an emergency

If you should regain capacity, the healthcare proxy is no longer in effect.

Common misconceptions about living wills

We are all naturally hesitant when it comes to addressing end-of-life issues. But some people also put off executing living wills based on such misunderstandings as these:

  • Living wills are created for old people ― While it’s true that advanced age makes the need for a living will more compelling, any person at any time can face a medical crisis.
  • Same as a last will and testament ― A will directs what should happen to your property when you die and does not take effect until then.
  • Same as a living trust — The purpose of a living trust (also known as a revocable trust) is to designate beneficiaries to receive certain assets if you should die or become incapacitated.
  • Should be confidential ― On the contrary, no one can follow your wishes if you haven’t announced them. After executing your living will, you should make sure that your regular healthcare providers and your proxies have a copy.

Our attorneys patiently answer all your questions, so you can make the best-informed decision on all estate planning matters.

The importance of updating your living will

A living will reflects your current state of mind regarding medical interventions. Because that can be altered as circumstances change, it’s important to periodically update your living will. You might amend the terms based on matters of health, a shift in your personal beliefs or other life changes. A Brooklyn estate planning attorney can help you with making those revisions and with updating your proxy if needed, such as when your designated agent moves out of the area or becomes otherwise unavailable.

We handle a full range of elder law matters in an atmosphere of respectful professional service, giving you the knowledgeable advice and guidance you deserve.

Contact our knowledgeable Brooklyn lawyers for a living will consultation

For more than 25 years, the estate planning attorneys at Goldberg Sager & Associates in Brooklyn, New York have assisted clients with living wills, healthcare proxies and other advance directives. Call us at 718-514-9516 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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  • Brooklyn Office
    1628 Kings Highway at East 17th Street
    Brooklyn, New York 11229
    Phone: 718-645-6677