Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and the Need for Advanced Directives to be in Place

advanced directives lawyer New JerseyAlzheimer’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects cognitive functions, including memory, thinking, and behavior. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 5.7 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease and, by 2050, that number will increase to nearly fourteen million. The association claims that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Continue reading “Early Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s and the Need for Advanced Directives to be in Place”

What is POLST?

estate planning lawyer Wayne New JerseyOn December 21, 2011, the state of New Jersey, under the authority of then-governor Chris Christie, created the standardized Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form. The state of New Jersey recognized the importance of advanced directives (living wills, in particular) and decided to create a statewide form for individuals to set limitations on life-sustaining treatment in case of incapacitation. Continue reading “What is POLST?”

Summer Is Approaching, so Be Sure to Have Your Advanced Directives in Place

estate plan lawyer Passaic CountyAdvanced directives are documents that enable you to choose a designated individual to make certain important decisions in the event you become incapacitated. Advanced directives include:

Health Care Proxy

A health care proxy designates an agent to make medical decisions in the event a person becomes incapacitated.
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Be Sure You Have Advanced Directives in Place

estate planning lawyer Wayne, New JerseyAdvanced directives are documents that assist in the event that a person loses the capacity to make decisions on their own behalf. These documents allow a designated agent to act on someone else’s behalf in order to make medical or financial decisions. It is recommended that those over the age of eighteen have advanced directives in place, especially if he or she is going away to college. Continue reading “Be Sure You Have Advanced Directives in Place”

It Is Best To Have An Attorney Execute A Health Care Proxy

A health care proxy is a signed document that gives an agent or agents the power to make medical decisions for someone in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated. Oftentimes, many people ask whether or not an attorney is required to sign a health care proxy for it to be valid. The answer to that question is no. An attorney is not required to sign a health care proxy. In order for a health care proxy to be valid, two adult witnesses must sign it. It is worth noting that a named health care agent cannot be a witness. In addition, it is important to name alternate agents in the event that the first agent is unable, unavailable, or unwilling to act.

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Important Documents to Have in Place Specifically for End-of-Life Decisions

Every individual should have documents such as a Health Care Proxy, Living Will, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) and/or Do Not Intubate (DNI), and Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) in place to assist loved ones who may need to make medical decisions on their behalf, including end-of-life decisions. A brief overview of the purpose of each document can be found below.

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POLST and Advance Directives: You Need Both!

In December 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that enables patients to indicate their wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment through the practitioner/physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST) form. POLST is a medical order that is completed by a physician or an advance nurse practitioner (APN) and is intended for patients with life-limiting illnesses. The advance planning tool POLST should be established and utilized complementary to, not in place of, advance directives.

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How an Advance Directive Can Benefit Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s Disease

More than 68 percent of New Jersey residents know someone who has or had dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, according to a survey conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson’s PublicMind. Dementia is a group of symptoms that can include impairments to one’s ability to think and communicate, as well as memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. It is a progressive, degenerative disorder that impairs thinking, behavior and memory. Due to the degenerative nature of the disease, those with Alzheimer’s are encouraged to obtain an advance directive, a legal document that can direct medical and financial wishes, even after the point when individuals lose the ability to do so themselves.

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