33-11 Broadway, Suite 2, Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410

Advance Healthcare Directive Attorneys in Bergen County 

North Jersey lawyers help you prepare documents directing the care you want 

At some point in your life, you may fall into a state of physical or mental disability that makes it impossible for you to communicate your directions for healthcare or your preferences regarding life-sustaining measures. This is when it is important to have an advance healthcare directive in force. At The Paton Law Firm, in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, I can assist you with drafting a directive that meets your specific needs.

What are advance directives?

An advance healthcare directive is a legal document that identifies how you want decisions about your healthcare to be made when you’re unable to make or express those decisions yourself. The directive may contain instructions on whether, when and how healthcare providers should give you life-sustaining care. It can also designate a proxy to make decisions on your behalf or both.

Common types of advance directives

New Jersey recognizes two types of advance healthcare directives:

  1. Instructive directive — Also known as a living will, an instructive directive states whether you want life-sustaining care given or withheld in various circumstances, such as when you are permanently comatose, have a serious irreversible condition or are terminally ill. You may also use this type of directive to deny certain types of treatment for religious or personal reasons.
  2. Proxy directive — This type of directive lets you appoint a representative to make healthcare decisions for you. You may also appoint an alternate healthcare representative, or a series of them in a particular order, to perform the role when your preferred one or ones aren’t available.

The two types of directives can be combined in single document as long as their distinctive purposes are made clear.

New Jersey law on advance directives

Your advance directives must comply with applicable New Jersey law to be legally valid when you need them. You should observe the following:

  • The directive must be signed either in front of a notary or attorney or in front of two witnesses other than your healthcare representative, who must also sign it.
  • Your proxy directive may limit the powers of your healthcare representatives and require them to consult with anyone you designate before making decisions.
  • You may revoke or change your advance healthcare directive in writing at any time, and you may revoke it either orally or in writing, as long as you are competent.

Note that your advance healthcare directive doesn’t take effect until you are too incapacitated to make decisions yourself.

Issues and problems with advance healthcare directives

Careful thought should be given to the provisions in your advance directives. As an experienced estate planning attorney, I can guide you through all of the circumstances in which a directive might apply and the legal dos and don’ts that are involved in creating and using one. I will draft directives that best meet your needs and objectives. I can also assist you in revoking or modifying a directive.

Contact an advance healthcare directive lawyer in New Jersey 

At The Paton Law Firm LLC in Fair Lawn, I assist northern New Jersey residents with preparation of advance healthcare directives. To request a free initial consultation, call my office at 201-470-4801 or contact me online.


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