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What is a health care proxy?

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2023 | Firm News

In order for New York residents to determine what, exactly, needs to be included in their own unique estate plans, they must first determine what is relevant to their family and financial situation. What are the primary goals you would like your estate plan to achieve? Who or what are you trying to protect? How much of your estate plan will involve end-of-life planning for yourself?

These questions are oftentimes difficult to answer. However, there are some common estate planning documents that are included in almost every estate plan. In New York, drafting a health care proxy document is typically part of putting together a comprehensive estate plan.

Health care proxy basics

So, what is a health care proxy and why do you need one? Well, the basic concept of the document is really quite simple: in the document, you name and authorize someone else to make health decisions on your behalf if a situation should arise in which you are unable to do so yourself. For example, you might be in an accident that incapacitates you, or you may have a stroke. No matter the situation, with a health care proxy in place, you will have a trusted individual available to make health care decisions in your place.

If you don’t have this document in place, doctors and nurses who are providing care to you may not know which of your family members or trusted friends to listen to. The health care proxy prevents that situation by showing that you have entrusted a certain individual to make the important health care decisions you need.