Advance Directives

It is part of life that an accident or illness can occur at any age. It is important that we avoid a future crisis by pre-planning with the appropriate legal documents.

A Durable Power of Attorney is used to appoint an agent to carry out personal and financial decisions for an individual who has become mentally or physically incapable of doing those transactions without assistance. Care must be taken in choosing the best agent for the anticipated work.

A Health Care Proxy is needed for medical decision-making when the patient cannot communicate his or her wishes. The agent under a Power of Attorney does not have authority in New York to make medical decisions. There must be an agent appointed for each document.

A Living Will is guidance for the family and the courts on what oneā€™s wishes are regarding life-sustaining treatment when in a terminal condition. It is important to avoid the possibility of an end of life court battle.

It is certainly also important not to overlook preparing a Last Will and Testament or Trust.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. I invite you to contact me and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting me does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

Robert W. Shaw is licensed in New York.