What does a Health Care Directive actually do?

A Health Care Directive is a legal document that combines the elements of the living will and the durable health care power of attorney. It is designed to allow you to choose the individual(s) who will make your health care decisions if you are unable to speak for yourself.

What does a Health Care Directive do? 

  • Includes a designation of legal agents to make important health care decisions.
  • Contains contact information to assist emergency personnel or medical professionals to contact your loved ones.
  • Contains HIPAA release for ease of administration regarding your medical records.
  • Provides direction to assure loved ones of their decisions regarding your health care in a difficult time.

A Health Care Directive can include your thoughts on health care decisions such as: 

  • Where you would like to receive health care and/or a preferred doctor;
  • Your thoughts on pain relief;
  • Goals, fears, concerns regarding health care;
  • Your wishes about final arrangements (burial or cremation);
  • Religious or spiritual beliefs;
  • Organ donation.

Making your Health Care Directive effective: 

  • Ensure your agents can access your document. You may even consider giving them a copy.
  • Put your Health Care Directive on file with your clinic or local hospital.
  • Communicate your wishes, both within the document and narratively to your agent.
  • Take your Health Care Directive with you if you are admitted for care.

Our Estate Planning Team is here to help you make these decisions and execute the legal documents necessary to ensure your wishes are carried out. Email us at estateplanning@rinkenoonan.com or give us a call to discuss customized options.


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