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The New York Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts by Administrative order on March 22, 2020, which states in part that, “in lights of the emergency circumstances caused by the continuing COVID-19 outbreak in New York State and the nation, and consistent with the Governor of New York’s recent executive order suspending statutes of limitation in legal matters, I direct that, effectively immediately and until further order, no papers shall be accepted for filing by a county clerk or a court in any matter of a type not included on the list of essential matters….” Surrogate’s Court has postponed all non-essential functions and will only hear emergency applications. They have adjourned many matters that are not urgent.

Given the evolving health care crisis we are facing, it is even more important than ever to be sure your Advanced Health Care Directives and Living Wills are up to date. An Advanced Health Care Directive is the document which, among other things, most importantly appoints the person(s) who may speak for you when you are not able to speak for yourself, as to your health care decisions. Further, the Advanced Health Care Directive contains a HIPAA waiver, which is crucial because it essentially waives your right to privacy as to your medical records, allowing your health care provider to share that information with your Agent, so that he or she can make a fully informed decision about your health care. The Living Will is the document that sets forth what medical treatment you may (or may not) want in certain circumstances. Depending on different circumstances you face, you likely would like distinct approaches to your medical care. Call us for a consultation to discuss this further.