Schneider, Garrastegui & Fedele Explain Wills, POAs, & Health Care Proxies in NY

Serving Families Throughout Melville

MELVILLE, New York—Schneider, Garrastegui & Fedele, PLLC, an Elder Law Firm, alerts New York residents about the types of problems that can arise when they fail to prepare important Estate Planning documents. These documents include a Last Will and Testament, a Power of Attorney, and a Health Care Proxy at the time of their death, during their incapacitation, or during a healthcare emergency.

Elder law attorney and firm partner Vivian Garrastegui explains: “Many people do not understand the purposes and powers of these legal instruments. To better grasp their importance, it helps to envision the problems that can occur when individuals do not implement a Will, a POA, or a Health Care Proxy. Because you must be proactive, we want to inform the public about estate planning security to help them avoid preventable disasters.”

A Last Will and Testament is an important tool to have prepared and updated at all times, as it allows you to retain a great deal of control over where your assets will go while preventing your property from being distributed by the inheritance laws of New York. Without a Will, the probate process will often tend to last longer, adding to expenses when your loved ones will be grieving your death.

Nearly all adults have significant financial obligations, and there can be devastating consequences when they cannot meet them due to incapacity. For example, imagine an unfortunate situation in which you are unconscious in the hospital for an extended time while your mortgage and health insurance payments are due. Creating a Power of Attorney (POA) in advance of an unexpected, unfortunate event can allow you to retain control over financial decisions by having your specified agent act on your behalf to mitigate impending financial disasters. Once again, preparation is the key to navigating these issues.

A document drafted to address anticipated healthcare decisions during incapacity is referred to as a Health Care Proxy. Health Care Proxies are separate documents from financial POAs. Both are types of Advance Directives designed to anticipate possible scenarios while providing the means to make important decisions. In the case of a Health Care Proxy, the person specified to make decisions may be called the proxy, the agent, the surrogate. They are empowered to make important medical decisions with life-and-death implications once the person for whom the document was drafted cannot make medical decisions on their own. One crucial decision a Health Care Proxy may address is whether or not to provide or remove the life-sustaining treatment, which is another situation where acting in advance by preparing the proper documentation can prevent catastrophes from building upon tragic circumstances.

Garrastegui continues: “Planning before you have a problem can help immensely when these issues arise. These are situations where your reaction to the event is usually too late for an ideal response. It is often within your power to prepare towards preventing a looming disaster, and we are here to help.”

Schneider, Garrastegui & Fedele, PLLC invites individuals and families in New York to schedule a consultation to identify what steps they should take regarding Estate Planning and Elder Law concerns. Consultations typically include an assessment of a client's specific needs for their unique assets, along with suggestions for addressing them with appropriate legal instruments such as Wills, POAs, and Health Care Proxies as components of a coordinated estate planning strategy.

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About Schneider, Garrastegui & Fedele, PLLC

Clients first entrusted us to help them with their estate planning and elder law issues over 30 years ago. Since then, we have expanded our practice to include real estate, but our focus continues to be on assisting clients with some of the most significant issues they will face in their lives.

As we age, we tend to worry more about our health, money, and family. Our firm is dedicated to helping clients make plans for a health crisis, preserve their assets, and provide for loved ones so clients can worry less about the future.

In real estate, we know that buying and selling a home are among the most significant transactions most individuals will make in their lives. Our goal is to assist clients through the entire process, advocate for their interests, and ensure a smooth closing.

By limiting our core practice to a few areas of law, we can offer the high-quality, comprehensive advice clients require to get the results they desire. Let us take the work and worry from you and provide you with the peace of mind you deserve. Contact us for a consultation today at (631) 519-9831.

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