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A New York Living Will is a legal document that sets forth your preferences in relation to medical care, such as your refusal of or request for a certain medical treatment or procedure, in addition... Read more

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Making a Living Will in New York

  • What is a New York Living Will?

    A New York Living Will is a legal document that sets forth your preferences in relation to medical care, such as your refusal of or request for a certain medical treatment or procedure, in addition to the appointment of a chosen healthcare agent.

    The individual making a Living Will is known as the "principal," and the individuals or entities receiving permission to carry out the principal's wishes are called "agents." Suited for residents of New York, this free Living Will can be used in New York County, Kings County, Queens County, and in all other parts of the state. Any New York Living Will form from Rocket Lawyer can be tailored for your specific situation. This legal document will outline your preferences for your agent(s), and it will confirm that they have been given the authority to make choices for you.

  • How do I write a Living Will in New York?

    It's very simple to record your medical preferences using a free New York Living Will template from Rocket Lawyer:

    1. Make your Living Will - Provide a few basic details, and we will do the rest
    2. Send and share it - Go over it with your healthcare agent or ask a legal question
    3. Sign it and make it legal - Mandatory or not, notarization and witnesses are a best practice

    This method is, in many cases, much more affordable than working with your average lawyer. If necessary, you can start a Living Will on behalf of a family member, and then have them sign it once you've drafted it. Keep in mind that for a Living Will to be considered legally valid, the principal must be mentally competent at the time of signing. If the principal is already incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions, a court-appointed conservatorship might be required. In such a scenario, it would be a good idea for you to speak with an attorney.

  • Do I need to make a Living Will?

    Every person over 18 ought to have a Living Will. Although it's unpleasant to think about, there could come a time when you are not able to make healthcare decisions on your own. Common circumstances where it would be useful to make or update your Living Will include:

    • You are facing the possibility of surgery or hospitalization
    • You are getting older or have declining health
    • You have been diagnosed with a terminal illness
    • You are preparing to move into a community care facility

    Regardless of whether your New York Living Will has been made as a result of a recent change in your health or as part of a forward-looking plan, witnesses and notarization are strongly encouraged as a best practice for protecting your document if its validity is doubted by a third party.

  • Should I work with an attorney to review my Living Will in New York?

    Making a Living Will is typically straightforward, but you or your agent might have questions. Having an attorney review the document could take a lot of time on your own. Another approach could be via Rocket Lawyer attorney services. Premium members can ask for guidance from an attorney with relevant experience or ask other questions. As always, you can be confident that Rocket Lawyer is by your side.

  • How much might I usually pay for an attorney to help me make a Living Will in New York?

    The fees associated with finding and working with your average law firm to write a Living Will could be between two hundred and one thousand dollars, depending on where you are. Rocket Lawyer can offer much more protection than most other Living Will template providers that you might discover. As a Rocket Lawyer Premium member, you can get up to 40% in savings when hiring an On Call attorney.

  • Will there be any next steps that I will need to take after I have made my New York Living Will?

    After making your document with Rocket Lawyer, you will be able to retrieve it anytime and anywhere. With a membership, you can edit, download, and/or sign it. Your New York Living Will form comes with its own checklist of directions on what to do next. You will need to send a copy of the signed document to your agent(s) and care providers.

  • Does a Living Will need to be notarized or witnessed in New York?

    The rules governing Living Wills will be different in each state; however, in New York, your Living Will needs the signatures of two witnesses. The witnesses to your document cannot include the person who signed the Living Will on your behalf (if applicable). As a general rule, witnesses should be at least 18 years old, and none of them should simultaneously be named as your healthcare agent.

    New York Living Will Laws: NY PBH § 2981

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