When you are planning your estate it is very important to deal with all of the matters that relate to individuals who are entering their golden years. While it is real that the monetary aspects of estate planning are necessary, the healthcare component is key too, and because individuals here in American are living longer than ever it is logical to be prepared to live into our late eighties and beyond.
With this in mind, incapacity planning is something that has entered into the detailed estate plan of our period.
One of the matters that you require to deal with when you are preparing for possible incapacitation includes choice making. If a medical decision needs to be made and you are not able to do so, who will act in your behalf? You can take the uncertainty out of it by appointing a representative to represent you by performing a long lasting medical power of attorney and this person will then be empowered to make those decisions.
There is one caution to the above, and it has actually been brought about by the passing of the Medical insurance Portability and Responsibility Act of 1996. A part of this act is in place to ensure the confidentiality of patient records that are kept by insurer and healthcare providers. Healthcare facilities and medical centers interpret this serve as they see healthy and develop standards that their healthcare providers must follow. So there are some health centers that do not enable doctors to talk to the agent that you appointed about the details of your case due to issues about breaking arrangements set for in the HIPAA.
The way to address this possibility is to consist of a HIPAA release in your estate plan. This can be a document in and of itself, or it can be added into your durable medical power of attorney. It is also worthwhile to mention the fact that you can include individuals aside from your appointed healthcare representative to the HIPAA release if you so pick. If you do so, extra family members will have the ability to interact with health care service providers about your condition without violating medical facility HIPAA guidelines.