Port Washington, NY asked in Health Care Law for New York

Q: In NY if 3 children are named as agents on a Health care Proxy do all 3 have to agree on decisions or can 2 overrule?


Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
V. Jonas Urba
V. Jonas Urba
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: The plain meaning of the language of any legal document applies. Was the document drafted clearly and unambiguously? Carefully examine the four corners of the document, meaning what language is used throughout the document. Hopefully yes and that answers your question.

If not, how will any ambiguity or uncertainty be decided?

1) Can the intent of the maker or principal be obtained through other documents? A living trust would be one such document. If these 3 persons are co-trustees, does the trust require a unanimous decision or best of 3? Do other documents or transactions of the principal confirm what her/his intention was? Examine those documents.

2) If there's still no definitive answer, apply to a Surrogate's Court and ask the judge to decide.

I have watched a single health care proxy not follow the principal's wishes or act in the incapacitated person's best interest so these documents are necessary but don't always accomplish what the maker of the document intended, which, in the end, is all that matters.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.