Listen to Lawrence…Health Care Proxies, Wills and Powers of Attorney

April 1, 2020


Dear clients and friends,

When I put a call out yesterday for questions, I had no idea what I was tapping into! So many people responded either with questions or simply wanting to thank us for reaching out and helping during this unsettling time. I encourage you to keep sending your questions. We are all in this together and we will keep this going!

Before I answer the first three questions, I want to give you a heads up that big news is coming regarding New York Medicaid. Some may be good and some may be bad, but it is coming, probably tomorrow. You see, the finishing touches on the New York State budget are happening as we speak. Many changes have been threatened in the name of a balanced budget, namely the elimination of spousal refusal (which I doubt will happen) and the imposition of a new look back for Medicaid home care benefit (which I expect to happen). Stay tuned as we receive a copy of the new budget over the next couple of days.

And now for the questions and answers:

Question one:

Hi, thanks for the free New York Health Care Proxy on your website, click here!
but do witnesses need to sign?

Answer: The answer is yes, two witnesses have to sign attesting to the fact that they saw you sign the document. But many of you may be worried about having two witnesses in your home. So get creative, have them see you sign the document through a window or glass door. Or better yet, get outside and sign the document on your driveway where your witnesses can see you and they can sign in relative safety, all wearing gloves.

Question two:

I am looking to update my will, prepare a health care proxy and add my adult children to my house deed . Does your firm handle these types of matters? Thank you for your time.

Answer: Of course. This is something we do every day.

Question three:

We’re upper middle-class married individuals, working professionals, with a home, retirement accounts, some investments and bank savings. Not wealthy, not poor. If we have named beneficiaries on all of these accounts, do we still need a power of attorney and, if so, why?

Answer: First, you probably do not have a named beneficiary on everything, namely your house which will not have one. But in any event, a beneficiary has no power over your account while you are living. A power of attorney is the appropriate tool in the tool shed to give someone authority over your finances while you are living, but incapacitated.

Share all of these Listen to Lawrence messages with your friends and relatives! We’ll keep this going together.

Listen to Lawrence and Be Safe!