The Fundamentals of Capacity when Executing a Will

estate plan lawyer Nassau CountyThe main component to executing a Last Will and Testament or any advance directive is that a testator must have testamentary capacity at the time of execution. In accordance with New York State law, a person must be of “sound mind.”

Specifically, the testator “must have the intelligent knowledge of his or her natural objects of their bounty, property, and possessions, and must know what he or she wishes to do with those assets.” Continue reading “The Fundamentals of Capacity when Executing a Will”

Be Familiar with a MOLST Form

Garden City elder law attorneyIn 2006, the Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment or MOLST program began in Onondaga and Monroe Counties and was later implemented on a statewide basis. In 2010, the Department of Health updated the MOLST form to remain compliant with the Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA). A MOLST form is an advanced directive that a person may choose to execute to ensure that his or her wishes for end of life are carried out properly. Requesting a MOLST form helps assist in facilitating a discussion between medical professionals and patient’s or his or her legal surrogate to develop an adequate treatment plan that reflects the patient’s desires in the end stages of life. Continue reading “Be Familiar with a MOLST Form”

Guardianship Proceedings

Garden City guardianship lawyerFor a person to execute advanced directives such as a Health Care Proxy, Living Will, and Power of Attorney he or she must have the mental capacity to understand what he or she is signing and the power that is being given to the designated agent(s) named in the documents. If an individual does not have adequate capacity to execute advanced directives, an Article 81 proceeding may be commenced in order for a court to appoint a guardian. Article 81 of the New York State Mental Hygiene Law allows a proceeding to occur before a judge, where a person may request that the court appoint a guardian to act on behalf of a mentally incapacitated individual. Continue reading “Guardianship Proceedings”