Estate Plan Essentials Part Three: Healthcare Documents

8:13 am Uncategorized

The final post in our series focuses on the part of your Estate Plan having to do with healthcare. This is the section that is likely to change most often, and will require the most frequent review and update.

The backbone of the healthcare portion of your Estate Plan is of course your Advanced Health Care Directive (or Health Care Power of Attorney). In this document you record your wishes and instructions for your medical treatment—including any existing conditions or illnesses—as well as the people you nominate as your healthcare agents, those who will make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable. Your Advanced Health Care Directive should be updated whenever you have a major change in your health status.

Also included in the healthcare portion of your Estate Plan is your HIPAA Authorization, which gives the hospital and medical staff permission to share your health status with the people you’ve nominated as your healthcare agents. Your HIPAA should be updated every time you nominate new agents, or every 2-3 years to keep it “fresh” in the eyes of hospital personnel.

A lesser known part of the healthcare portion of your Estate Plan is your disability panel, included in your Trust. This is a list of the people authorized to determine your incapacity for purposes of handling trust accounts. A court of law is automatically authorized to make this decision, but you can also name a panel of doctors, professionals, loved ones, or a combination of any of those to determine your ability to make financial decisions relating to the Trust. Your disability panel does not need to be updated regularly, but should be reviewed at least as often as you review your list of healthcare agents.

Let our Costa Mesa law offices help you get started by contacting us today.

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