What About Emergency Access to Your Important Estate Planning Documents?

Once you are taken to the hospital and are under medical care, you are going to want to have your important estate planning documents accessible to your doctors. These documents include your HIPAA Authorization, as well as your Advanced Health Care Directive (which names your designated health care decision maker). These documents are needed in order for your doctors to be able to speak with someone from your family and for the doctors to have the necessary information to speak with the representative you’ve selected to make your medical decisions in such a situation.

  • In Your Wallet: A Health Document Emergency Card. We provide this card and associated three-year membership to our clients when they first get their Living Trust prepared by our firm (or do a significant upgrade to an existing Living Trust). The Health Document Emergency Card is for you to keep in your wallet (recommended right near your health insurance card or driver’s license). This card will give your doctors 24/7/365 access to your important estate planning documents and any other important medical information that you may provide (including allergies, medical history and conditions, information about your primary care physician, etc.).

    If you do not have a Health Document Emergency Card or if you’ve let your membership lapse, feel free to reach out to our firm and we can discuss with you how you can make sure that you have this important service active!

In conclusion, you may never know when or where you may be when an emergency may come up and having access to these important contacts and documents is crucial. Hopefully the tips and suggestions noted above can be of help to ensure that you are properly prepared in the event of an emergency.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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