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Quickly create your New York health care directive

You can complete FindLaw’s attorney-created health care directive forms in less than an hour at home. Our guided process takes you through a few easy steps and includes a free HIPAA release form. You’ll be able to download, print and sign your documents in no time.

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New York health care directive options to suit your needs

Health Care Directive

For One Person

A do-it-yourself health care directive that’s easy to personalize.

What’s included:
What’s included
Step-by-step guided process
A health care directive tailored to your needs
Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
Free HIPAA release form
Free changes and revisions to your document for up to a full year after purchase


Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

What’s included:
What’s included
Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
Free HIPAA release form
A comprehensive plan — for less
Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

Still not sure what estate planning tools you need?

The benefits of having a New York health care directive

A health care directive protects your autonomy. Also known as advance directives, these documents state your health care wishes and name a person to act in your place when you cannot. These documents prevent unwanted medical treatments and solidify the health care methods you desire, putting your fate in your hands.


Written by:

Linda Long, J.D.

Contributing Author


Reviewed by:

Tim Kelly, J.D.

Contributing Author

How it works

Create your health care directive in under an hour

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Decide who will be your health care agent/proxy, which treatments you would request or refuse and release your records

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Print and sign your document according to instructions. Give copies to your doctors and agent/proxy

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Plan for your future with confidence

This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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What’s next to make my New York health care directive valid?

Follow these steps:

If you want to, sign a do not resuscitate order

do not resuscitate order is a legal document used for end-of-life planning. A terminal condition, severe car accident resulting in your being rendered unconscious, or a rapidly deteriorating medical condition may make you incapable of adequately expressing your wishes. By creating this document and planning ahead, you can relieve your family of the burden of making these tough decisions during a tragic time.

Decide what kind of care and treatment you will receive

An advance directive, also called a health care directive, directs family members and health care professionals regarding emergency medical care. Among the types of care and life decisions a health care directive covers are whether you want to receive:

  • Feeding tubes
  • Blood transfusions
  • Moving into a long-term care facility
  • Life-prolonging treatments
  • The use of mechanical respiration
  • The use of cardiac resuscitation
  • The use of mouth resuscitation
  • Palliative care
  • Hospice care

Choose your health care agent

 The health care agent, also known as a health care proxy, plays a vital role in advance care planning. Your health care decisions are made by this person based on what you have requested. The health care proxy form can be found on the NYS Department of Health website and allows you to name a primary and alternate agent.

Sign and notarize

Sign your health care directive in front of a witness and have it notarized.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • Your family disagrees with your medical choices
  • You don’t know who to appoint as your agent
  • You have questions about life prolonging measures
  • You want legal review of your completed document
Find a local estate planning lawyer

Ready to start your New York health care directive?

Create my health care directive

New York health care directive commonly asked questions

“Advance care planning” refers to the process of stating your wishes in writing about end-of-life or life-sustaining care should you become incapable of making such decisions for yourself.

Every advance care plan should include a health care directive. If you become unable to communicate, this document directs health care professionals regarding the treatment you wish to receive.

State law does not require specific language before a health care directive is deemed valid in New York. New York state law, however, specifies who can create a legally valid health care directive and what wishes it may convey.

Any person 18 years of age or older may create a health care directive in New York. A health care directive specifies the health care agent must be another adult. The health care agent is the person you’ve chosen to carry out the wishes stated in your health care directive. Your health care directive must be:

  • In writing
  • Notarized
  • Observed by a witness in New York state

Neither the notary nor the witness may be named as the health care agent.

Should you become incapacitated without a health care agent, the courts will appoint a surrogate to make medical decisions on your behalf under New York state law. Your wishes will be carried out by the surrogate if your wishes are known. If the surrogate is not aware of your desires, the decision will be based on what the surrogate believes is best for the patient. As a patient, what the surrogate believes is best for you medically and what you want to do might conflict. That is why it is best to express your desires before you become incapacitated.

Do-not-resuscitate orders (also called DNRs) are legal documents that confirm the patient does not wish to undergo cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or any other life-saving code and wishes to allow natural death to occur. DNRs are an integral part of advance care planning. With the help of this document, patient autonomy can be respected even if the patient cannot advocate for themselves.

New York state law requires medical facilities to follow the Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment statute (MOLST). Per MOLST, health care facilities must tell patients with severe medical conditions that they can refuse treatment if they choose. Patients who must be informed include:

  • Those who want to avoid or would like to receive any or all life-sustaining treatment.
  • Those who can reasonably be expected to die within one year.

It is wise for you to keep the original health care directive in a safe and easily accessible location like a lockbox or a safe deposit box. But make copies to share with your health care agent, your medical provider, and loved ones.

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Complex family situation? Need additional guidance?

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