A critical component of any estate plan is planning for incapacity through healthcare directives.
While contemplating the possibility of becoming incapacitated is daunting, creating the necessary powers of attorney will ensure that your healthcare needs are met in the event that you cannot communicate your wishes for medical care. The best way to protect your well-being is to consult a trustworthy estate planning attorney.
E.A. Goodman Law, LLC is a premier estate planning practice serving clients in New Jersey. We believe that planning for unexpected illnesses and injuries is the responsible thing to do for yourself and your family. Our legal team has extensive experience preparing the essential estate planning documents that will ensure you receive the treatment you prefer if you become incapacitated and cannot make your own medical decisions. We will offer you knowledge, compassion and a comfortable environment in which you can make the best decisions about your healthcare needs.
Why do I need to create healthcare directives?
As difficult as incapacity planning is, creating healthcare directives will be your lifeline if you cannot make medical decisions independently because of illness, an accident, or declining health. By failing to memorialize your preferences for medical treatment and not naming a trusted person to coordinate your care, family members may need to seek court approval to make these decisions on your behalf. In a time of crisis, the burden for loved ones could lead to a dispute that becomes a court battle. By working with the right estate planning attorney, you create the necessary legal documents to ensure that you receive the care you prefer.
What are healthcare directives called in New Jersey?
- Power of attorney for healthcare — Also referred to as a healthcare proxy, this legal document allows you to name a trusted person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. The person you name is known as your healthcare representative and is responsible for coordinating your treatment with your doctor if you are unable to communicate these decisions.
- Living Will — This healthcare document, called an instructive directive in New Jersey, provides instructions to your medical team about the end of life care you wish to receive or have withheld, such as a ventilator or feeding tube.
In New Jersey, it is also possible to create a “combined advance directive for healthcare,” in which you name a healthcare representative and provide treatment instructions. In addition to a healthcare proxy and a living will, it is also wise to create the following documents:
- Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) — This legal document notifies doctors, nurses and emergency personnel that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should not be used to sustain your life in the event of a medical emergency.
- HIPAA Release Authorization — The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that requires the completion of a HIPAA authorization to release medical information to outside organizations, agents, successor trustees, family members and other designees. This authorization will ensure that your healthcare representative and family members can obtain your medical information if there is a medical emergency.
Who can act as my healthcare representative in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey law, your healthcare representative must be 18 years of age or older. It is common for people to name a spouse, an adult child or a close relative or friend as their representative. In any event, this person must be trustworthy, dependable, and calm under pressure.
Contact Our Experienced Morris County Healthcare Directives Attorney
At E.A. Goodman Law, LLC, we design comprehensive estate plans that include healthcare directives. Our objective is to keep your estate plan on the right track and protect you, your assets and your loved ones. By creating a healthcare proxy, a living will and other essential legal documents, you can plan for incapacity and ensure that you receive the type of medical care you prefer to receive. In addition to healthcare directives, we are also highly experienced at drawing up wills and trusts that provide for the management and distribution of your assets. When you become our client, we will take the time to understand your circumstances and tailor an estate plan to suit your unique needs. Estate planning need not be complicated; it’s really a matter of getting your affairs in order so that you are prepared for both the expected and the unexpected. Don’t wait until it’s too late to plan your estate. Contact our office today to set up a free consultation.