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Ancillary Documents: Why You Need Them

By: Moshe B. Genet - January 24, 2019

When preparing an estate plan for yourself or a loved one, it is highly recommended to obtain ancillary documents in addition to a revocable trust and a will. Ancillary documents include Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will and HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Authorizations.  This article will explore the importance of such ancillary documents and why they are necessary.

Health Care Proxy, Preneed Guardianship and Living Wills

A designation of health care surrogate is a document in which you appoint a person to make medical decisions in the event you cannot.  This person will be permitted to make decisions on your behalf and to give your consent for medical treatment, lifestyle decisions and the administration of medication.

A living will is a document used to direct hospitals and physicians to withhold or employ artificial means to prolong life when death is imminent. Generally, it only becomes applicable when the following circumstances are present:  A) A need for life sustaining procedures B) Artificially provided nourishment and fluids and C) Experimental Medical Treatment.

Preneed Guardianship documents direct a judge who you want to be the guardian of your person and property should you need a court appointed guardian due to incapacity.

HIPPA Authorization

The HIPPA Authorization form permits doctors or facilities the ability to communicate with people listed regarding your medical condition and history. The people named on this document can only receive information and the doctor or institution will only follow instructions from your health care surrogate for any medical decision.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is a document which is used to appoint a person to act for you to handle your personal financial affairs in the event you are unable to do so because you are incapacitated.

Documents not just for Adults

Once a child turns 18, a parent is no longer authorized to review their children’s medical records without the child’s consent.  Therefore, it is strongly recommended that health care documents are prepared prior to attending college.

Questions

If you are interested in ensuring that you or your children are safeguarded in the event of a medical emergency and your wishes are followed, please contact the experienced attorneys of Morris Law Group.

SOURCE: Morris Law Group

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