• Health Care Proxy
The New York Health Care Proxy Law allows you to appoint someone you trust — for example, a family member or close friend – to make health care decisions for you if you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. By appointing a healthcare agent, you can ensure that healthcare providers follow your wishes.
• Living Will
A Living Will allows you to leave written instructions that explain your health care wishes, especially about end-of-life care. You cannot use a Living Will to name a healthcare agent; you must use a Health Care Proxy.
A Will is a legal declaration of how a person wishes their possessions to be disposed of after death. No person should prepare their own Will, no matter how small their assets. An attorney should draft a Will.
NYS Bar Association: Will Drafting Forms (Downloadable)
Please visit New York Advance Directive, Planning for Important Healthcare Decisions, for more information.
• Power of Attorney
Power of attorney is granted to an “attorney-in-fact” or “agent” to give that individual the legal authority to make decisions for an incapacitated “principal.” The laws for creating a power of attorney vary from state to state, but there are specific general guidelines to follow. Before you or a loved one signs any documents, however, be sure to consult with an attorney concerning all applicable laws and regulations.
NYS Bar Association: Power of Attorney (Downloadable)
• Planning Your Funeral While You Are Alive
For more information, please visit the New York State Department of Health, Before Preparing Your Funeral, Know Your Rights.
• Burial and Funeral Guide
A Guide to Burial Assistance and Funeral Planning for New Yorkers in Need is available for more information.