A living will also, known as an advance directive, is a document that outlines a person’s wishes for end-of-life medical care if they cannot make decisions for themselves. In the state of New York, specific requirements must be met for a living will to be considered valid.
A living will is a legal document that specifies what medical treatments a person would like to receive or not receive if they cannot make their own medical decisions. It typically addresses whether the person would like to be kept on life support if they are in a permanent vegetative state or prefer to be allowed to die naturally. It is often used in conjunction with a durable power of attorney for health care, which designates someone to make medical decisions on the person’s behalf if they are unable to do so.
First and foremost, the living will must be in writing. It can be typed or handwritten, but it must be legible. The document should also be signed and dated by the person creating the living will, and it should be witnessed by two individuals who are unrelated to the person creating the living will. Additionally, they cannot be named as healthcare agents in the document. One of the witnesses must also be a notary public.
The living will must also clearly state the person’s wishes for end-of-life medical care. This can include things like the use of life-sustaining treatment, the use of artificial nutrition and hydration, and the use of pain management. It is important to note that a living will do not take effect until the person is determined to be unable to make decisions for themselves. It does not apply to situations where the person is pregnant.
A living will is not the only document that can be used to outline a person’s end-of-life wishes in New York. A healthcare proxy, also known as a durable power of attorney for healthcare, is another document that can be used. This document names a specific person, known as a healthcare agent, to make decisions on the person’s behalf if they cannot make decisions for themselves.
In the state of New York, a living will must be in writing, signed, and dated by the person creating it. My Living Wishes is here to help you with the process and necessary documents to prepare for your end-of-life wishes.