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Elder law and advance health care directives

The average New York resident has worked hard to build a life for him or herself and loved ones. Years have been spent working, planning, saving and dreaming. These dreams often include growing old with grace and dignity. With this in mind, there are several elder law components that the individual will want to keep in mind.

Some individuals want all available steps taken to extend life. If there is a procedure that may help, they want to undergo the procedure; if there is a new medicine that may give them more time, they want to take the medicine. For these individuals, extending life as long as possible is the goal. They desire that all life-saving measures be taken.

Other individuals value prefer to not undergo extreme measures when there is little hope that it will benefit them or enhance their quality of life. These individuals wish to be allowed to pass on without extreme life saving measures being taken. They wish to spend their remaining days on their terms rather than undergoing a variety of medical tests and procedures.

These are personal choices that each individual needs to address. Yet, very few New York residents have established an advance health care directive. With an advance health care directive, doctors and family members will know exactly what the individual desires and the type of treatment he or she wishes to receive. Once such a document is needed, it is often too late for the individual to communicate his or her desires. An attorney experienced in elder law matters can assist in drafting the necessary documents to ensure that the individual's wishes are known.

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