What Is a Proxy Directive in New Jersey? 

A proxy directive is a special type of document that you may use to designate a person of your choosing to make healthcare related decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. It immediately goes into place once created.

It does not matter if your ability to make your own decisions is on a temporary basis or on a permanent basis. The designated individual typically only legally becomes obligated to make decisions for you if you become incapacitated. 

Is a Lawyer Needed to Create a Proxy Directive in New Jersey? 

No, a lawyer is not considered to be mandatory when creating a proxy directive in the State of New Jersey; however, most do recommend that one is present. In fact, this type of documentation is typically written up during a consultation.

Those present in the meeting may include family members, your primary physician and other medical personnel that care for you on a regular basis, and sometimes, an attorney is invited to ensure that everything is completed legally and that everyone understands the text of the directive. 

Will the Person I Designate on a Proxy Directive Be Able to Make Decisions for Me Immediately? 

No, the person that you designate as your healthcare representative will only make decisions in the event that a physician has made an evaluation and determined that you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

To continue making your own healthcare decisions, you must fully understand the diagnosis, the treatment options available to you, and the benefits and associated risks associated with those options. 

Must I have Both a Proxy Directive and an Instruction Directive? 

No, you may have a proxy directive without an instruction directive and an instruction directive without a proxy directive. 

Who May I Appoint as a Healthcare Representative? 

In short, you may appoint any adult as your healthcare representative. This includes a spouse or a domestic partner, your parent, your adult child, any other relative, a friend, a neighbor, or even a religious or a spiritual-based advisor. You may only appoint one individual. 

Are There Restrictions on Who I Make My Healthcare Representative? 

Yes, there are some restrictions. You may not appoint the following:

  1. The Physician Overseeing Your Care
  2. Any Person in Charge of a Healthcare Facility Where You are a Patient or a Resident – Unless That Person is a Direct Relative
  3. If the Above is Named and is Related, They Cannot be the Physician Overseeing Your Care

Can Limitations Be Made on the Healthcare Representative? 

Yes, you may make limitations. For example, if you have your preferences outlines in an instruction directive regarding life-sustaining treatments, you may limit your representative from making decisions outside of your previously-designated preferences. 

Contact Us 

If you require assistance or have questions pertaining to a proxy directive, you may contact us here at Beacon Senior Advisors. We are certified and are able to explain – in detail – the various components of this documentation. Additionally, we are able to assist in any questions regarding specialized accommodations – such as assisted living. Give us a call today at: 973-713-0096

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