A Living Will is a written statement that expresses your desires with regard to health care treatment if you become mentally and/or physically incapable of expressing those desires. It can include, but need not be limited to, instructions concerning the termination of life support. The Living Will and Health Care Proxy typically go hand in hand. On the one hand there is the appointment of someone to act on your behalf. On the other hand you have the expression of your own wishes regarding health care treatment.
Unlike the Health Care Proxy, there is no Living Will form in New York. There is also no statute in New York that governs the Living Will. Provided, however, that there is ‘clear and convincing’ evidence of any individual’s wishes, then those wishes should be honored. An elder law attorney who is knowledgeable in this area can help to prepare a document that provides clarity to your wishes.