SYRACUSE — The rising death-rate is prompting difficult, but necessary conversations with loved ones battling COVID-19.
Jen Corcoran is a lawyer leading Tully Rinckey’s trust & estates department. "I think the COVID issue brought mortality conversation to a lot of people and a lot of their families," said Corcoran.
The veteran attorney of 25 years said the pandemic created an uptick in people wanting to create and adjust living wills and health care proxy forms.
“The person who you choose is someone you know can make those hard decisions," she said.
While both are important, Corcoran says only a health care proxy gives a person of your choosing authority to make decisions. Without it, New York State law uses a traditional family hierarchy to decide who makes a medical decision on your behalf. She’s seen it play out the wrong way in the past. "Once you link it to a real life example it’s like, "oh gosh...Those people were together for 10 or 15 years and they had kids together, but they never got married and something awful happened to him. She couldn’t make decisions and the mother who he hadn’t spoken to in years, was the one that got the call.”"
Two witnesses must watch you sign your health care proxy form and say that you appeared to sign willingly. Neither your chosen healthcare agent nor an alternate can serve as a witness. The form can be found here.