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In 1983 Ms. Zlotogura graduated from Boston University School of Law. She is admitted to practice law before the Courts of the States of New York and New Jersey, as well as the United States District Courts in those states and the United States Tax Court and the Supreme Court of the United States. In 2006 she was appointed to the Independent Election Qualification Commission for the Ninth Judicial District of the Unified Court System of the State of New York where she served until 2011. She currently serves on the Fee Dispute Panel for the Ninth Judicial District and the Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District.
Ms. Zlotogura's practice concentrates in Real Estate and Commercial Transactions, Estate Planning and Administration and Commercial Litigation. With over 30 years of experience, Ms. Zlotogura has represented large and small clients with energy and efficiency.
Ms. Zlotogura served as President of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) from 2004-2005. Prior to her term as WBASNY President she served as President-Elect from 2003-2004, two terms as a Vice-President from 2001-2003 and two years as Treasurer from 1999-2001. Ms. Zlotogura has served WBASNY as Co-Chair of the Finance, the Long Range Planning and 35th Anniversary Committees, WBASNY liaison to the WBASNY Foundation and as co-chair of the 2006 Convention in Puerto Rico. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors, the Permanent Convention committee and the Advisory Committee.
Ms. Zlotogura has been a member of the Rockland County Women’s Bar Association (“RCWBA”) since its formation in 1984. From 1988 through 1992 she held a position on the Board of Directors and served as Co-Chair of the Membership and Programming Committees. She served as Recording Secretary from 1992-1995 and Treasurer from 1995-1996. In 1996 she was elected President of the Chapter and held that position for two years. In 2011, Ms. Zlotogura was re-elected as president of RCWBA. Ms. Zlotogura currently serves as one of RCWBA’s delegates to the WBASNY Board of Directors.
In May 2011, WBASNY awarded Mindy the prestigious Marilyn R. Menge Award in recognition of her valuable and significant contributions to both the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York and the Rockland County Women’s Bar Association.
Ms. Zlotogura also serves as the Treasurer of the Rockland Business Women's Network and as Vice-President of the Wolfe Landing Homeowners Association.
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When clients come to see a lawyer to discuss estate planning, in most instances, they have a plan of distribution in mind. They know who their relatives or intended beneficiaries are and, they have definite ideas as to who should or should not receive a portion of their estates. For the most part, they have given substantial amounts of time considering the alternatives and, have struggled with difficult decisions that need to be made. Most of these decisions affect others; how they will be cared for or in some instances controlled, after the death of the client. Most clients spend less time considering their own well-being and planning for their own disability. Planning for your own disability, through Advanced Directives, however, allows you to retain control over your own health care and financial needs.
On the other hand, the failure to have properly prepared and executed Advanced Directives can force your family or caretakers to apply to the Court for permission to act as your Guardian before they can pay your bills, speak to your doctors or make health care arrangements for you. The process of having a Guardian appointed is expensive, time consuming and, in non-traditional families may result in a stranger making decisions for you. The good news is that the preparation of Advanced Directives is a relatively simple process and may require the execution of just two or three straight forward and easily understandable documents. The documents fall into two categories; Powers of Attorney and Health Care Proxies and Living Wills.
Power of Attorney: A Power of Attorney is a legal document authorizing someone to act on another’s behalf. The person giving the power is known as the “Principal”. The person receiving the power to act is known as the “Agent”. The Principal vests the Agent with authority to make decisions regarding the Principal’s property and finances and resulting legal impact in the place of the Principal. A Power of Attorney can be broad so as to allow the Agent to make decisions regarding all of the Principals property and finances and is effective until revoked or until the death of the Principal. The Power of Attorney can also be very specific and limited in duration. For instance, where the Principal cannot be present to sign documents for a specific legal transaction such as the purchase or sale of a house, a Power of Attorney can be executed just for that purpose. Executing a Power of Attorney does not take away the Principal’s control over their own property and finances until such time as the Principal is incompetent or unable to make decisions. However, a Durable Power of Attorney is recommended when planning for an otherwise unexpected disability or incapacity. Powers of Attorney terminate upon the death of the Principal.
Health Care Proxy: A Health Care Proxy is frequently thought of as a Power of Attorney for health care decisions as it gives the “Agent” the ability to make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to make those decisions. Unless specifically limited by the Health Care Proxy, the Agent can make all health care decisions from routine medical treatment to the termination of life-sustaining care. Specific provisions should be made in the Health Care Proxy directing the Agent as to whether or not food and water may be withheld or withdrawn. The Agent’s ability to make decisions begins at that point in time when you are no longer able to make the decisions for yourself. As with a Power of Attorney, the choice of who to appoint is a critical decision. Before appointing an Agent it is important that the Agent understand your wishes and that he or she is willing to carry them out. As life and death decisions may have to be made, the Agent should be emotionally prepared to live with the results of those decisions.
Living Will: Living Will is an instructional document. It provides guidance to medical
professionals on how you wish to have your treatment handled in the event you are unable to verbalize those wishes. A Living Will must specify in advance (and in clear and convincing language) what procedures you do or do not want to have performed. The Living Will must set forth the triggering event when the document will take effect and also set forth what procedures or treatments should or should not take place. It is difficult to see into the future and to craft a Living Will that will take into consideration all the possible factual and medical situations. For this reason, the use of a Health Care Proxy with all of its flexibilities together with a Living Will which provides guidance to the health care Agent is preferable. Some confusion exists between a Living Will and a “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) Order. A DNR is limited to ordering the medical professional not to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). A DNR is usually executed in a hospital or nursing home and it prevents the staff from performing CPR if the patient’s breathing or heartbeat stops. While there is overlap between the two, the DNR is the more restrictive and only applies in limited circumstances involving CPR.
The use of Advanced Directives is a simple and direct way of exercising the right to control your future. With the availability of these devices, there is little excuse for leaving critical medical and financial decisions in the hands of family members ill-prepared to do so or, even worse, in the hands of a stranger.
This website is for informational purposes only. Using this site or communicating with Mindy R Zlotogura, Esq. through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising.
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