Make Your Wishes Known About End-Of-Life Medical Care

Advance directives for healthcare, commonly referred to as living wills, allow you to make your wishes known about how you wish to be cared for in an end-of-life situation. New Jersey law gives you the right to execute a document limited to giving instructions about your wishes (an Instruction Directive). You may also execute a document by which you give no instructions and simply appoint a healthcare representative to make decisions for you (a Proxy Directive, which is a form of power of attorney). Or, you may execute a document giving instructions and appointing a representative to carry out your wishes in case you are unable to give instructions or if your intent is not clear under a given set of circumstances (a Combined Advance Directive). A living will can specify what life-saving measures should and should not be taken. It should also deal with the various issues involved with organ donation, funerals and disposal of your remains.

Medical Power of Attorney

Do you know that if you are in a hospital under emergency circumstances and you are unable to consent to medical procedures, your spouse and your children technically do not have the authority to give consent to treatment for you or even to receive information about your medical condition? Some hospitals and healthcare providers will listen to the family's instructions and provide information, but I have personally seen others stick strictly to the rules with bizarre results. Executing a medical power of attorney avoids this potential gap in proper medical care. Medical powers of attorney that I draft are separate from living wills because healthcare practitioners typically prefer two shorter documents to one long one. Moreover, our medical powers of attorney deal with the possibility that the health care representative may not be immediately available at a time when immediate availability may be critical. We provide for temporary authorization so that there will not be a gap in care.

I can help you with any power of attorney matters, including:

  • General durable power of attorney for property and finances authorizing the agent to make nursing home arrangements, engage in Medicaid planning and make gifts (which are prohibited unless specifically authorized).
  • General durable power of attorney for care and custody of a child, temporary (such as picking up from school) or long term.
  • Special or limited power of attorney for real estate sales transactions.
  • Special durable power of attorney for bank account transactions.
  • Special durable power of attorney for health care matters.
  • We include HIPAA authorizations (federal privacy law) in all of our powers of attorney and advance directives to make sure there are no problems with access to medical information or treatment.
  • Limited power of attorney for stock transactions.

Living Wills Provide Peace of Mind

Call 973-850-4121 or use our online contact form to meet with a lawyer to discuss your options regarding end-of-life care and creating advance directives. I help families throughout Morris County as well as Passaic, Essex, Union and other neighboring counties from offices in Kinnelon and Riverdale, New Jersey.