You may have thought about a will or trust for when you die, but are you prepared for an emergency situation, especially one where you may be incapacitated? A will or trust will only take effect after your death. If you are in an accident or have a major medical problem, you need documents for incapacity to ensure that your affairs are handled the way you want them to be handled. This is particularly true if you have children to take care of or if you are a single woman with financial affairs that have to be handled. Those documents include a Durable Power of Attorney, a Health Care Proxy, an Advance Directive (known as a Living Will in other jurisdictions), and a HIPAA Release.
Durable Power of Attorney: This document allows you to appoint an agent to handle your financial and other affairs if you become incapacitated.
Health Care Proxy: This document allows someone you have designated to make medical decisions for you should be you become unable to do so.
Advance Directive: Sometimes called a living will, it is a guide for your agent listed on your health care proxy concerning what health measures you want taken should you become unable to make those decisions for yourself.
HIPAA Release: This document allows your medical information to be released to individuals or organizations you list in the release.
When you contact me about these documents, I talk with you about the factors to consider when naming individuals in the documents as well as tailor the options to your particular needs and wishes.