We Are Now Offering a Complementary Health Care Proxy

One of the most important estate planning documents, after a Will and a Power of Attorney, is the Health Care Proxy. This is the document that allows you to name someone to participate in discussions with your health care providers if you are not able to do so.

With so many seniors being concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, our office is offering a free Health Care Proxy so parents and their children can have this document.

In New York State, a Health Care Proxy need not be notarized, but it does have to be signed with two unrelated adults serving as witnesses.

We hope that this offer will be taken up by children concerned about their parents and parents concerned about their over 18-year old children. Because of HIPAA regulations (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), parents and adult children have the same legal status as a stranger. Doctors may not speak with parents about their child’s condition, or with children about their parent’s condition.

Parents or adult children have no legal standing to decide about their loved one’s care. The scenario is frightening for anyone.

A Health Care Proxy allows a person to designate another person as an agent or proxy entitled to information about the person’s medical condition, gain access to medical records and most important, make medical treatment decisions on behalf of the person. New York does not allow co-agents; only one person can serve at a time.

We are offering to prepare this document for free to members of our community as we believe it is so important. If we can help one family who otherwise could not make medical treatment decisions for a loved one, the entire effort will have been worth doing.

Your request for a health care proxy must be submitted through our website’s contact page https://www.sjslawpc.com/contact/. We cannot accept requests by phone.

Provide us with your name and address, and the name and address of the person you want to serve as your Health Care Proxy.  We will send you the document via email. Print it out, insert a date, sign your name on the line indicated in front of two unrelated witnesses. Make sure that the document is readily available in an emergency.

If you have questions, please send them to sjs@sjslawpc.com.

Be safe,

Stephen J. Silverberg, Esq.

Here’s Something You CAN Do – Give Blood

Here’s a suggestion for everyone who is feeling a little overwhelmed and helpless. This morning I got a call from the New York Blood Center. I am a regular blood donor, and they call me routinely. It’s another way to give back. The blood center caller said that they are in urgent need of blood and platelet donors, as supplies are critically low. I was out the door in about five minutes. Here’s what I found.

The New York Blood Center is known for running an extremely clean operation, but they have upped their game, going above and beyond public health guidelines.  It is safe to give blood. They disinfect their donation sites frequently and are taking every extra precaution to prevent any person-to-person spread of COVID-19.  They are only collecting blood from healthy individuals and those that meet all requirements.

A special note to anyone who is O-Negative – we are considered the “universal” blood donor, as our blood type can be used by anyone. While we can only receive O-Negative blood, anyone can receive our blood. I feel like I have a special responsibility to give blood, another reason I am a regular donor.

Here’s a link to the New York Blood Center – the site has info about where you can give blood, who can give blood and how to make an appointment.

If you are healthy and have not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19, please take this opportunity to step up and do something for the good of our community. You’ll feel better, especially if you have been feeling like there’s nothing you can do. You can do something – you can give blood!