TLC LogoTotal Lift Choices, The Advance Planning Program of the New York Legal Assistance Group
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Total Life Choices (TLC) provides free legal services to promote and protect the dignity of each individual.  TLC attorneys and volunteers empower individuals in articulating and documenting crucial lifetime, incapacity, and end-of-life choices through education and legal planning.  TLC counsels families on complex court procedures for probate, administration and guardianship.

 

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CONTACT US

Total Life Choices (TLC)
New York Legal Assistance Group
7 Hanover Square, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Phone: (212) 613-5000
Fax: (212) 714-7402

Services

 

  TLC offers the following services free of charge for all New Yorkers:

For more information about these services, please contact TLC at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (212) 613-5000.  You may also download and complete your health care Advance Directives by using the pull-down menu on the left.

  • Completion of your health care Advance Directives

Health Care Proxy - a document used to appoint your health care agent, someone you trust to make decisions about your medical care if you are unable to communicate them yourself due to incapacity, injury or illness. If you do not appoint a health care agent, New York State law provides that a spouse/domestic partner, adult child, parent, sibling or close friend can act as your decision-maker, however, you should not forfeit your opportunity to document your choice of agent and provide him or her with the information needed to make decisions according to your wishes.

Living Will – a document used to describe your wishes regarding your medical care in the event you are no longer able to communicate them due to serious illness or incapacity from which you have no reasonable chance of recovery. A Living Will does not allow you to choose a person to speak for you.  

Lifetime registration with the U.S. Living Will Registry® -  a service that stores your health care Advance Directives and provides confidential, 24-hour access to your documents nationwide through the use of a wallet sized card that you keep with you at all times.

To download and complete your health care Advance Directives, visit our Forms page.

  • Trainings and Presentations

Training for you and your staff of medical or social services professionals to learn how to assist clients with properly completing their health care Advance Directives.

Educational presentations for community groups and organizations to learn about the importance of health care Advance Directives, including workshops for attendees to complete the requisite forms with TLC staff on-site.

TLC offers the following services free of charge for qualified low income New Yorkers:

For more information about these services, please contact the NYLAG intake line Monday, Wednesday or Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at (212) 613-5000.

  • Advance Legal Planning

Last Will and Testament – regardless of the amount of assets you own, you can choose who will receive your possessions and assets on your passing and who will be responsible for carrying out your instructions by executing a Last Will and Testament.  If you do not have a Last Will and Testament, the court will order the distribution of your assets according to state law.

Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains – a document used to appoint a trusted person to dispose of your remains according to your directions at your passing. This is especially relevant for those individuals in non-marital relationships or those estranged from their family because the person you choose will be responsible, not your family members.

General Power of Attorney – a document used to appoint a trusted person as your agent for specific financial and property transactions that you choose, such as power to buy or sell real property and to manage your financial accounts.  This gives your agent legal authority to act in your place if you have limited mobility or become incapacitated and cannot do those things yourself. This document cannot take the place of a Last Will and Testament as it is not effective after your passing.

Modification of Documents – if you have planning documents you wish to update or change, whether or not NYLAG or TLC prepared them for you, please contact us.

  • Assistance with Court Proceedings

Probate Proceedings –  this court proceeding is necessary when a person passes away with a Last Will and Testament. Probate establishes the validity of the Last Will and gives legal authority to the person appointed as Executor to distribute assets according to the Last Will.

Administration Proceedings – this court proceeding is necessary when a person passes away without a Last Will and Testament. The court determines who the Administrator will be to distribute the assets according to state law.

Standby Guardianship –  if you are seriously ill (for example, if you have a terminal disease or have AIDS), you can appoint a guardian to care for your minor children in the future without losing custody of them. This can be accomplished by either asking the court to approve your choice of guardian now or by completing a written document.  If you choose to name a guardian by written document, the person you have chosen will file a regular guardianship petition with the court after your death, incapacity or debilitation.

Article 81 Guardianship –  if you have a loved one who can no longer meet his or her own needs for personal care, property management or both due to incapacity, you may petition the court to be appointed his or her legal guardian to handle only those functions he or she cannot provide for himself or herself.

Article 17A Guardianship – if you have a loved one who was born with or developed a mental disability prior to turning 22 years old, you may petition the court to become the person’s legal guardian when they become an adult. Without this proceeding the person is legally allowed to make his or her own decisions after turning 18, regardless of mental disability.



The above TLC services are offered free of charge to only those New Yorkers who qualify. To determine if you qualify, you must contact NYLAG’s intake line on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. at (212) 613-5000. NYLAG retains the right to refuse to provide services to any person. Please note, for all matters listed above, we recommend that you seek the assistance of a legal professional.

 

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TLC PRESENTATIONS


Total Life Choices provides free legal education seminars and trainings on legal planning to community groups and medical and social service professionals. To schedule a TLC presentation, contact Tina Janssen-Spinosa, Esq. at (212) 613-5062 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

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