A living will is a document that provides specific instructions about health care treatment. It is generally used to state one’s wishes to refuse life sustaining treatment under specific circumstances, i.e.: serious illness, persistent vegetative state, etc., that may arise in the future. It does not appoint a “health care agent” and does not replace a health care proxy. A living will just serves to make your wishes known (and to possibly serve as clear and convincing evidence of your wishes). If a person has a health care proxy, but also has a living will, the living will can provide instructions for the health care agent that serves to guide his or her decisions.
To download a form with instructions, please click New York Living Will Form and Instructions.