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Estate Planning FAQ 10

How are health care decisions to be made if a person becomes unable to express his or her wishes?

Most people are familiar with the Karen Ann Quinlen case, or with its results, when a patient’s right to die was first recognized by the New Jersey Supreme Court, and the Terry Ann Schiavo case in which a family’s battle over a comatose woman was played out in the Florida courts and the nation’s court of public opinion. Today, one can eliminate these issues by signing a document in advance of the need for health called an advance directive. In New Jersey a single document contains both instructions to health care providers and designation of health care representatives. In some states these documents are separate and may be called health care proxies and living wills. Although in New Jersey a patient cannot legally commit suicide or be assisted in that endeavor, he or she can refuse treatment when at an end of life stage, provided that the decision is expressed in writing. Perhaps one of the greatest gifts a parent can give a child, more than money or property, is to take the end of life decision out of the child’s hands. Having a signed advance directive will resolve possible disputed about treatment and will lets the children or other family members feel that they are honoring their parents’ last wishes.

Call (732)-972-1600 today to speak to one of our skilled Estate Planning Attorneys. Located in Manalapan (Monmouth County, NJ), Cranford (Union County, NJ) and Midtown Manhattan (New York, NY); Drescher & Cheslow represents clients throughout the State of New Jersey & New York including but not limited to Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Essex, Somerset, Morris, Hudson and Ocean counties.

Ten Frequently Asked Estate Planning Questions
First: What happens if someone dies without a Will?
Second: What is probate and how much time and money does it cost?
Third: What are the different ways property can be owned and what problems can these different forms of ownership create?
Fourth: Must a parent treat all children equally?
Fifth: How should property be left for someone unable to manage it?
Sixth: Who should be named Executor or Trustee?
Seventh: What about taxes?
Eighth: What about lifetime gifts?
Ninth: How can clients safeguard their affairs in the face of physical or mental infirmity?
Tenth: How are health care decisions to be made if a person becomes unable to express his or her wishes?


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