Each state has laws that enable you to legally appoint a person to make decisions for you, if you cannot.  A health care proxy is used to appoint a person to make health care decisions. A power of attorney appoints a person to manage all or some financial, business and other transactions for you. A durable power of attorney survives the onset of mental incompetency (dementia, Alzheimer’s or a traumatic brain injury). Both documents are essential ingredients of estate planning.

Health Care Proxy

Everyone over 18 should have a health care proxy, just in case. Your appointed health care agent makes health care decisions, in accordance with your wishes, if you cannot. This can be needed if:

  • You’re temporarily unable to make decisions because you’re undergoing surgery or had an accident.  For example, if you’re under anesthesia and a decision must be made, the health care agent you appoint will make it on your behalf.
  • You become permanently unable to make health care decisions because of a debilitating illness such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, or a tragic brain injury. The document you sign while you are mentally aware will carry you through.
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We help you understand the legal requirements and set forth the specific instructions for the person you name as your health care proxy.

Power or Attorney

A power of attorney names someone to act in your place to manage a variety of your everyday affairs such as banking, investments and the like.  In New York and Florida, state law prescribes what these forms must contain and how they must be signed.  The forms are complicated and the devil is in the details. It’s essential to work with an attorney to understand what’s best for you and how to best protect your interests.

Most people select a family member or close friend they trust to make decisions for them.  It’s important for your agent to know your wishes so they can act in your place.  You want the person you select to make decisions as you would, if you could.

At the law firm of Susan G. Parker, Esq. PC (914) 923-1600, we take the time to review your options and help you select agents to act on your behalf. We shepherd you through the process so that your affairs are in order in case someone needs to take the reins of aspects of your life, when you are unable.