What Directives Can Be Included in a New York Living Will?

As helpful as it would be, nobody can predict the future. Life can change in an instant, and in some cases, circumstances can impact a person’s life dramatically. For instance, a car accident can leave an occupant with severe and debilitating injuries. An incident like that can render someone unable to work and provide for his or her family. Thinking ahead about the future and unforeseen incidents can help protect your assets and property, as well as your rights. Estate planning involves making arrangements in advance for important issues such as healthcare, distribution of assets, and power of attorney. Some of these issues may be addressed in a document called a living will, and it can be customized to an individual’s preferences. Having a living will in place can prevent disputes among family members in case you become gravely ill or incapacitated.


Drafting a living will is more than just filling out a form or signing a document. A living will is a legal document that explains your wishes regarding future medical care. This document will be consulted by New York healthcare providers if you are unable to make your own decisions regarding medical treatment. In some cases, it is used to outline your desire that extraordinary measures not be taken to keep you alive when recovery is improbable. This document can also designate another person who can make decisions on your behalf.

Some of the healthcare issues that can be addressed with a living will include the following medical interventions and preferences:

  • Artificial respiration (breathing machine/ventilator)
  • Artificial nutrition and hydration (feeding tube, IV fluids, or medicine)
  • Electric shock therapy
  • Surgical procedures
  • Bodily tissue and organ donation

In the majority of cases, a living will is part of a more comprehensive legal document that also names a proxy or trusted person who can make healthcare and end-of-life decisions on your behalf. The state of New York requires statements and signatures by two witnesses in order for this type of agreement to be valid. This form also allows you to name an alternate agent in case the original agent is unable to perform his or her duties.

It is also important to carefully consider your family dynamics and circumstances to ensure that your assets will transfer to whom you designate, rather than according to the actions of the Surrogate’s Court and New York state laws.


It can be hard to plan for an unknown future, but drafting a living will can ensure that your wishes will be followed. Estate planning will give you peace of mind about what will happen in the event you are unable to make decisions on your own, and it can ensure that your wishes are followed correctly after your death. A knowledgeable Estate Planning Attorney will guide you through the legal process of creating these important documents. For more than 25 years, the lawyers at Goldberg Sager & Associates have been advising clients on all matters of estate planning. Call our office today at 718-514-9516 to schedule your free consultation.

This Article was provided by Marcel Sager, Esq., Managing Partner of the New York law firm of Goldberg Sager & Associates.  Attorney Sager is one of New York’s TOP Estate Planning Attorneys.  He is a Member of the National ElderCare Matters Alliance and he and his firm have a Featured Listing on ElderCareMatters.com – America’s National Directory of Elder Care / Senior Care Resources to help families plan for and deal with the Issues of Aging.

If you have additional questions about your family’s Elder Care / Senior Care Matters, you can count on ElderCareMatters.com (America’s National Directory of Elder Care / Senior Care Resources) to help you find America’s Top Elder Care / Senior Care Professionals.  

The Elder Care / Senior Care Experts that are found on ElderCareMatters.com can provide you with the help you need in a total of 55 different Elder Care / Senior Care Services, including Elder Law, Estate Planning, Home Care, Senior Living, Assisted Living, Care Management, Daily Money Management, Investment Advisory Services, Tax & Accounting Services, Wills & Trusts, Probate plus many other Elder Care Services.

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What Directives Can Be Included in a New York Living Will? was last modified: May 4th, 2023 by Marcel Sager, Esq.