Our Experienced Attorneys Explain the Role of a Healthcare Proxy in NJ

Gain Insight into the Appointment, Duties, and Obligations of a Healthcare Proxy in Estate Affairs in Ocean County, New Jersey

Health Care Proxy Attorneys in Toms River NJNo one likes to think about what will happen when they are no longer able to take care of themselves or make their own medical decisions, but it is essential to discuss these matters well before illness takes over. A healthcare proxy makes medical decisions on behalf of someone who is incapacitated and unable to make decisions about their care for themselves. Having a healthcare proxy guarantees that the individual’s preferences for care will be adhered to. They are legal surrogates appointed by a power of attorney which the courts authorize.

Some might think that creating a healthcare proxy while in good health is unnecessary, but the truth is, there’s no better time than now. Ensuring that your wishes are respected when you’re unable to make medical choices yourself is vital. At the Bronzino Law Firm, we recognize the anxiety this topic can bring and will alleviate all your concerns in Bay Head, Eatontown, Beach Haven, Asbury Park, Long Beach Township, Red Bank, Rumson, and other towns throughout Monmouth and Ocean County. Our skilled team will sit down with you and your chosen healthcare proxy to outline your care preferences, document them, and legalize your crucial instructions. Contact us at (732) 812-3102 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer to discuss your case.

Guidelines for Appointing a Healthcare Proxy in New Jersey

New Jersey law requires that a healthcare proxy be drafted in writing and witnessed by two people. The witnesses cannot be blood relatives or married to the individual. They cannot be eligible to receive anything through the will or estate of the person requesting the document, nor can they be actively involved in the person’s healthcare. It is important to provide copies of the order to the attorney, parties involved, and family members.

Healthcare Proxy Authority and Main Responsibilities

The scope of a healthcare proxy’s abilities is determined by the individual for whom they are making medical decisions. Your agent must follow your wishes and your moral and religious beliefs. Your written instructions tell the proxy what they can do. They can decide what treatments should be provided and decide on nutrition (using a feeding tube) or intravenous hydration. They can give permission to donate your organs and how long to keep you dependent on artificial respiration equipment. If you don´t want to be resuscitated, including that order in this document is essential. It should also be placed in your medical records. A Do Not Resuscitate Order (also known as a DNRO) is used to identify those who, in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest, choose not to be resuscitated. A proxy can consent or refuse medical tests and treatments based on what has been previously agreed upon. They can decide where the individual receives care, whether at a hospital, clinic, assisted living, or nursing home. They can coordinate home hospice care and make decisions regarding health insurance.

Key Steps For Making Decisions as a Healthcare Proxy

Well, before anything is put in writing, you and your representative should talk about your values, religious concerns, and preferences. They must meet with you and your doctors to review your medical history, present concerns, and treatment plans. They should keep a list of all medications and what they are used to treat. You should put as much in writing as possible, describing what is desired regarding treatment and end-of-life circumstances. A healthcare proxy should have a close relationship with your family members and healthcare team to interpret what would be best while following the wishes previously expressed. If conflicts arise within the family, the healthcare proxy who is following your orders should make the ultimate decision.

The Role of Healthcare Proxies Amidst Difficult Decisions

Usually, an individual chooses someone close to them as their healthcare proxy. It is hard to see someone we love ill, perhaps terminally so. Keeping a clear head while having a broken heart can be overwhelming, but staying focused on the task at hand is necessary. Deciding when a person is no longer able to make decisions for themselves should be done by the healthcare team initially and then discussed with the healthcare proxy.

Human bodies are complex, and what may have seemed obvious when the healthcare proxy was written may not seem so now. For example, Mr. McKinnon left specific instructions that he should not be placed on life support if he has no brain activity, but he is also an organ donor. A patient 2,000 miles away is a match and needs a lung transplant. Mr. McKinnon will have to be kept on life support for 72 hours to conduct the transplant. Even if the family disagrees, it isn’t their call to make. The representative offers a possible interpretation of what Mr. McKinnon would have wanted, as they had discussed his being a donor several times.

If you are a healthcare proxy, staying in good health yourself is necessary. Getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, exercising (something as basic as a morning walk), and mental health support are ways to stay alert and take care of your charge.

Importance of a Healthcare Proxy and Legal Guidance in Designating One

The best way to ensure your wishes about medical care and treatment are followed when you cannot make those decisions is to have an attorney draw up a healthcare proxy for you. It’s hard to imagine needing one when you are healthy and enjoying life. Still, there may come a time when you need someone to ensure what kind of care you want to receive, and naming a healthcare proxy and allowing an attorney to set up the documents for you will guarantee you will be treated on your terms.

Estate Lawyers Providing Guidance on Healthcare Proxy Matters in Brick, New JerseyTempers can flare when family opinions aren’t aligned with what has been written. As we watch someone we deeply care about become progressively worse, nerves are raw, and arguments can start over the most minute detail. It is best to speak openly and explain clearly why certain decisions are being made. If there is tension, seeking a family friend to mediate discussions can be helpful, but when the utmost objectivity is needed, a lawyer can step in and provide support.

Essential Qualities to Look for in a NJ Healthcare Proxy

When choosing a healthcare proxy, you need someone who can make decisions immediately if necessary. They should live reasonably close to where you live and where you are medically treated. It should be someone familiar with your medical conditions, medications, and treatments who can speak with medical professionals and make important decisions regarding your care. Also, it should be someone who will put their own opinions and beliefs aside and adhere to the plan you have indicated.

Work with our Estate Planning Lawyers on Managing Health Care Proxy Related Issues in Freehold NJ

To some, it may seem that establishing a healthcare proxy while you are healthy is unnecessary when, in actuality, there is no time like the present. You want the assurance that your wishes will be followed when you can no longer make medical decisions for yourself. At the Bronzino Law Firm, we treat clients like family. We understand the concern this subject can cause and will abate all your worries. Our experienced estate law professionals will meet with you and your proposed healthcare proxy to discuss the details of your care, put them in writing, and notarize your important instructions. We serve clients in Manalapan, Jackson, Manchester, Tinton Falls, Point Pleasant, Middletown, and other Ocean and Monmouth County areas.

There is no time like the present to guarantee your wishes will be followed. Call (732) 812-03102 for a cost-free consultation to discuss how we can help you through this process. A contact form is also available to reach us and schedule your appointment.