Powers of Attorney
Health Care Power of Attorney / Health Care Proxy
A Health Care Power of Attorney (New York refers to it as a Health Care Proxy) allows your trusted friend or family member to make medical treatment decisions for you if you are unable to communicate your wishes to doctors. Without one, you must have a guardian or ‘conservator’ of your person appointed by the court before decisions can be made on your behalf.
A Health Care Power of Attorney/Proxy not only saves precious decision making time, but it also makes sure that the individual you trust the most has the power to make these most important decisions for you if you are unable to make the decisions on your own.
Aging Care Power of Attorney
An Aging Care Power of Attorney works with your other Powers of Attorney and your Trust to address practical family issues that arise when you age with memory issues, when cognitive capacity declines. This document reduces to writing the conversation everyone needs to have with their family members — who will later be their care takers, It specifically outlines things like when your family should talk to you about continuing to drive and when they should see that you receive are in a nursing home instead of at home or vice versa). Your own meaningful, written expectations are preserved for the day when your family may need to refer to them. It is a very useful and practical planning tool.
Durable Power of Attorney
Who will make decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself? Who will have the power to sign documents on your behalf, or make sure your bills get paid?
Without a durable power of attorney, someone who is mentally incapacitated must be taken to guardianship or conservatorship court to have a decision maker named for them by a judge. A carefully written durable power of attorney will allow you to name someone you trust to make decisions for you if you become disabled to the point of no longer being able to make those decisions yourself.