Health Care Directives
All adults should have advance health care directives because it is used if you are unable to make health care decisions in the event you become incapacitated. Three documents that are included in health care directives are:
Health Care Surrogate
A healthcare surrogate allows your trusted friend or family member to make medical treatment decisions for you if you are unable to communicate your wishes to doctors. Without one, you must have a guardian or ‘conservator’ of your person appointed by the court before decisions can be made on your behalf.
A healthcare surrogate not only saves precious decision making time, but it also makes sure that the individual you trust the most has the power to make these most important decisions for you if you are unable to make the decisions on your own.
A Living Will directs what medical care you want, or do not want, typically this is used for decisions such as life support.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), absent a written authorization from the patient, a health care provider or health care clearinghouse cannot disclose medical information to anyone other than the patient or the person appointed under state law to make health care decisions for the patient. The Regulations promulgated under HIPAA specifically authorize a HIPAA Authorization for release of this information to persons other than you or your healthcare power of attorney. Thus, you should consider creating such an Authorization so that loved ones and others can access this information in addition to the healthcare power of attorney.
When meeting and planning with The Curran Law Firm, your Health Care Advance Directives are included with your full estate plan.
If you have any questions about these documents or further estate planning needs, give us a call at 561.935.9763