At some point in your life, you may find yourself needing to complete a living will and health care proxy form for either yourself or a loved one. For starter’s its important to know the different between these two types of advance directive forms, in order to make sure you fill out the one that best applies to your situation.
What is a Living Will?
A Living Will is a written statement that expresses your desires with regard to health care treatment if you become mentally incapable and/or physically incapable of expressing those desires. This can include things such as the type of treatments you prefer, how long you want the treatments to be tried, as well as instructions regarding the termination of life support.
What is a Health Care Proxy?
A Health Care Proxy is a document which allows you to designate a person to make health care decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself. These decisions can involve the management of your health care in order to keep you healthy. These decisions can also involve the termination of life support.
Both forms are available for download for free. The New York State Department of Health provides the Health Care Proxy Forms as PDFs which you can fill out online and print out. These forms are available in the following 4 languages:
New York Living Will Forms are also available as PDFs that you can print out and then fill out. These forms are available in English and Spanish:
English version (PDF)
Spanish version (PDF) – Translation by the Advanced Business Spanish class at The College of Saint Rose