If you wish to have both of these documents, they can be combined into one. In NYS, there aren’t any laws regarding living wills but they can serve as clear and convincing evidence of what your wishes are. Even if you haven’t designated someone to make decisions for you, a living will can still provide direction to health care professionals about your preferences. Living wills are somewhat limited as they only apply to life sustaining treatments and not to other treatment decisions. The general instructions that living wills usually provide may be difficult to interpret in complicated medical decisions. The health care proxy is more comprehensive. The ability of the person you pick to make decisions on your behalf is not limited to situations where you may be terminally or irreversibly ill. It authorizes someone to weigh all the facts at the time a decision has been made according to (a) any guidelines that you have provided or (b) your best interests.