January 2014 News: New York Estate Planning News

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January 2014 Archives

What Is a Health Care Proxy?

The New York Health Care Proxy Law allows you to appoint an agent you trust -- for example, a family member or close friend -- to make health care decisions for you if you lose the ability to make decisions yourself. The document legally authorizing that person is called a health care proxy.

A health care proxy is a completely voluntary way to eliminate confusion among loved ones and health care providers about your health care wishes. Hospitals, doctors, and other medical providers must follow the agent's decisions as if they were your own.

Here are a few answers to questions commonly asked about health care proxies:

Battle Continues Over Tony-Winning Actress' Estate

Legendary actress Julie Harris' estate battle continues. This time Harris' former lawyer is claiming that the actress wasn't of sound mind when she named Francesca Rubino as co-executor of her estate.

Rubino, who may be better known by her stage name Francesca James, was Harris' caretaker before she died. As a result of being named in Harris' will, Rubino stood to inherit at least $250,000 from Harris' estate, reports Playbill.

However, Harris' former attorney alleges that the actress didn't have the mental capacity to leave a chunk of her fortune to Rubino.