Coronavirus Emphasizes Need for Advance Directives
Having the proper estate planning documents helps to ensure both you and your loved ones are protected in case of unexpected events. In New York, the situation involving COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, definitely falls under this category. Few of us would have foreseen just a month ago the impact it would have on our lives or the number of people who would become seriously ill. It is important for all of us to take the steps needed to protect ourselves. This includes putting advance directives in place.
Why You Need Advance Directives to Protect Yourself Against the Coronavirus
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the country, New York has become one of the cities being hit the hardest. According to a March 23, 2020 news report by the New York Times, over 21,000 people have contracted the virus and police are enforcing strict stay-at-home rules to reduce the rate of community spread. As New York City becomes inundated with people who are seriously ill, the medical community and local leaders are calling on the state and federal governments for help in supplying hospital beds and ventilators.
If you do contract the coronavirus, there is the chance your symptoms may be debilitating and potentially life-threatening. Even in mild cases, you will be required to quarantine yourself, preventing you from having close contact with others or attending to important tasks. For this reason, people of all ages need to do some advance planning, which includes making sure you have the proper estate planning documents in place.
How Advance Directives Protect You And Those You Love
Advance directives detail your wishes regarding health care and other important matters. They protect you and your loved ones in the event you become incapacitated and are unable to communicate or make decisions about these matters yourself. The New York Attorney General’s Office urges all residents to have the following in place:
Health Care Proxy: Otherwise known as a health care power of attorney, this authorizes someone you trust to make important decisions regarding medical care on your behalf.
Living Will: This conveys your wishes regarding important medical matters, specifically end of life care. This includes the use of ventilators, feeding tubes, and comfort measures.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order: This instructs medical professionals on whether to use cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or other life saving measures if your breathing or heart stops.
In addition to these documents, it is important to authorize someone you trust to act as your general Power of Attorney. This allows them to attend to important financial and business matters in the event you are unable to on your own.
Let Us Help You Today
During this difficult time, Cavallo & Cavallo are here to answer your questions and provide the trusted legal guidance you need. Serving clients throughout the Bronx and Westchester areas, call or contact our Bronx & Westchester Medicaid & nursing home attorneys online to find out how we can help you today.