Ruggiero Law Blog

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Health care directives - Do you know where they are?

You’ve Finally Done Your Healthcare Directives – Now What?

Healthcare directives can be vitally important, as recent cases, like that of Terry Schiavo, clearly brought to light. These important documents can mean the difference between your health care wishes being carried out or family members fighting over whether a loved one should be placed in a nursing home or removed from life support. Healthcare directives usually include both a healthcare power of attorney and a living will, or a form which is a combination of the two. In a healthcare power of attorney, an individual authorizes another individual to make healthcare decisions for him or her if the individual becomes unable to do so. A living will expresses an individual’s preferences about life support.

Once you have executed your healthcare directives, you may be uncertain as to what to do with them. First, you should make copies of the documents and inform others of their existence. In addition to your health care agent, persons you should consider notifying of the directives include family members and your health care providers.  Ideally, the originals should be kept in a place that is both safe and easily accessible.

As part of the estate planning process at Ruggiero Law Offices LLC, we draft authorization for release of medical records and provide online access to your healthcare directives available 24/7 through Legal Vault, a secure registry service. Our clients receive a wallet card that highlights their emergency contacts and hospital access for retrieval of healthcare directives. This is invaluable if you arrive at an emergency room and are unable to communicate with healthcare professionals.

You should review your healthcare directives regularly.  As individuals get older, their preferences about health care and life support change, and it’s important that your directives reflect your current health care wishes.   Of course, life changing events such as marriage, divorce, or the death of a loved one typically require changes in those documents to ensure that the people named in them are still those you wish to make decisions on your behalf and that your healthcare wishes will be carried out.

 

 


Archived Posts

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013



© 2019 Ruggiero Law Offices LLC | Disclaimer
Paoli Corporate Center - 16 Industrial Boulevard, Suite 211, Paoli, PA 19301
| Phone: 610-889-0288

Estate Planning | Estate Planning/Non-Traditional Families | Special Needs Planning | Probate & Estate Administration | Elder Law | Veterans Benefits | Guardianships | Business Law | Purchase/Sale of a Business | Real Estate | Pet Trusts | About | Media

Attorney Website Design by
Amicus Creative