A Health Care Proxy Directive is Critical in Ensuring You Obtain the Medical Care You Desire in The Event You Cannot Make Medical Decisions on Your Own

Regardless of age, medical history, or disability — if you reside in the State of New Jersey — it is imperative that you complete a Health Care Proxy Directive. You may, one day, face the unfortunate experience of being unable to make your own medical decisions.

This legal document provides you with the peace of mind of knowing that – should that time come – someone that you know and trust will be there to ensure that your wishes are being met and that your best interests – in terms of your health – are being represented.

This document may be identified as a “Health Care Surrogate”, an “Advance Directive”, and/or a “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care”. In terms of New Jersey State Law, it is referred to as a “Proxy Directive” or a “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care”.

Health Care Proxy DirectiveWhat is a Proxy Directive?

A Proxy Directive is a legal document that allows you to appoint a specific person to make official decisions for you regarding your health care. It only becomes effective in the event that you are unable to make these types of decisions for yourself. Your inability may be temporary or permanent.

An example of a temporary inability is experiencing an accident. An example of a permanent inability includes being diagnosed with a disease – such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

The person that you choose to name on your Proxy Directive is called a “Health Care Representative”. It is their responsibility to make health care decisions that you would have made for yourself, if you were capable.

If they are not familiar with your wishes, they must determine the course of action that best suits your interests.

If I Make a Proxy Directive, Will It Go Into Effect Immediately?

The answer to this question is both “yes” and “no”. Legally speaking, it becomes valid upon completion; however, the person you appointed in the Proxy Directive cannot make medical decisions for you unless a doctor determines that you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.

The doctor will make the determination that you lack capability if you are unconscious, cannot cognitively understand what you have been diagnosed with, do not comprehend your options in treatment, or do not have a clear understanding of the benefits and potential dangers of a treatment.

In other words, you must be physically incapable or mentally incapable of making health care decisions, as confirmed by a licensed medical doctor.

If I Made a Proxy Directive in another State, Will New Jersey Recognize and Uphold It?

Yes, if you have previously created a Proxy Directive in another state and are in the State of New Jersey when it becomes necessary to utilize it, it is considered to be valid in New Jersey. The Proxy Directive does not depend on the state, it follows you – as an individual.

If I Regain the Ability to Make Decisions, Will My Health Care Representative Still Be Required to Make Them?

The answer is “no”. If a medical doctor concludes that you are physically and mentally able to make your own decisions following having to depend on your Health Care Representative, that doctor will then obtain your consent for all treatments from that point, forward. At this point, the person you appointed on your Proxy Directive no longer holds any level of authority on your health care needs.

Does a Proxy Directive Affect My Life Insurance, Health Insurance, or Benefits?

No, a Proxy Directive will not affect any type of insurance or benefits that you receive. It is solely for your protection in the event that you are unable to make health care decisions on your own.

Do I Get a Proxy Directive from a Lawyer?

No, you do not need to obtain the Proxy Directive paperwork from a lawyer; however, lawyers do have access to this paperwork and may provide it to you. In most cases, you will be charged a fee for the service.

Instead, you may obtain this paperwork online and print it, at no charge. Simply click on the following link to download and print this document: http://www.nj.gov/health/advancedirective/documents/proxy_directive.pdf

Who Should Get Copies of my Proxy Directive?

A copy should be provided to your Health Care Representative, any alternative Representative that is in place, members of your family, and any medical care providers that you use on a regular basis.

If you use certain hospitals or clinics for your care, you should provide them with a copy. Additionally, should you require assisted living or a nursing home, they, too, should be provided with a copy of your Proxy Directive.

Need Assistance?

A Proxy Directive is a crucial component to your care and safety. It does not matter how old you are or even if you do not currently suffer from any health-related complications, it is imperative that you have a Proxy Directive put into place as quickly as possible.


This blog (at BeaconSeniorAdvisors.com/blog”) is a service made available by Beacon Senior Advisors. This blog does not provide legal advice and we are not a law firm. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice.

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