Is there a difference between a living will and healthcare proxy? | Long Island Estate Planning Attorneys

May 13, 2014 3:07 pm

A healthcare proxy is a document that appoints a living person to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to make your own decisions. These decisions include what doctor treats you, which hospital you go to, what and how aggressive your treatment will be, and end-of-life decisions.  If the agent does not know what you would have wanted, there is a best interest standard where the agent makes decisions based on your best interests.

A living will is only an end-of-life document which lays out your final wishes. It enumerates what kind of treatment you would like postmortem.

A healthcare proxy can make any decision for you. Your wishes change as you get older. What is considered a viable life to a fifty year old might be very different to someone who is eighty or ninety years old. Therefore, a healthcare proxy can make decisions based on your current wishes rather than relying on a possibly outdated will.

At Makofsky & Associates, P.C., the founding lawyers are Certified Elder Law Attorneys in Long Island, each with years of experience guiding individuals and families through the estate planning process. This understanding enables you to make informed decisions as you work closely with the attorneys to develop your estate planning strategy. To schedule an appointment, call (516) 228-6522.