Advance Health Care Directives

A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions authorizes your Agent to make medical decisions for you if you cannot express your wishes or make the decisions yourself. It also authorizes your Agent to obtain copies of your medical records.

If you have been to the doctor recently, no doubt you had to sign a statement concerning the doctor's right to release your medical records. This is because federal law, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA"), imposes liability on health care providers for releasing this information without your authorization. So that your loved ones can access your medical records in an emergency we also recommend that everyone sign a separate HIPAA Authorization which authorizes the release of this information only to your chosen loved ones.

A "Living Will" (also called a Patient's Declaration) serves to inform your attending physician, if it is your wish, that you do not want extraordinary medical measures taken in the event of a terminal illness, especially those that would cause you pain or discomfort, if those measures would only prolong the natural dying process. This document backs up your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions.

An Anatomical Gift authorization gives your consent to the transfer of some or all of your organs after death to living persons who need them.

In California, a California Advance Health Care Directive includes provisions for the creation of both a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions, a Living Will and an Anatomical Gift authorization in a single document.

To ensure that your healthcare directives will be available when needed in an emergency, around the clock and around the world, we enroll our clients in DocuBank.

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