In New Jersey, a directive is a legal document that allows an individual to express their wishes regarding medical treatment in the event that they become unable to make decisions for themselves. There are two types of directives recognized in New Jersey: a living will and a durable power of attorney for health care.
A living will is a legal document that outlines an individual's wishes regarding the use of life-sustaining treatment in the event that they are terminally ill or permanently unconscious and unable to make their own medical decisions. A living will typically specifies whether an individual wants to receive artificial nutrition and hydration, mechanical ventilation, or other forms of life-sustaining treatment.
A durable power of attorney for health care is a legal document that designates an individual to make medical decisions on behalf of the individual who created the document. This individual, known as the "health care representative," is typically a trusted family member or friend who is authorized to make medical decisions on behalf of the creator of the document if they become unable to do so themselves.
The health care representative is typically authorized to make decisions related to medical treatment, including the use of life-sustaining treatment, in accordance with the wishes of the individual who created the document. This can include decisions related to medical treatment, end-of-life care, and other medical issues that may arise.
Overall, directives are an important component of any estate plan, as they allow individuals to express their wishes regarding medical treatment and ensure that their wishes are respected in the event that they become unable to make decisions for themselves. It is recommended that individuals seeking to create a directive in New Jersey consult with a qualified attorney who can provide guidance and ensure that all legal requirements are met.