Healthcare Powers of Attorney

A Healthcare Power of Attorney, also known as an Advance Directive for Healthcare, is a document that is essential for every person 18 years of age or older.

Imagine This Scenario: Your "child" is 18. She leaves for college. She is in an accident or has a medical issue that renders her unconscious. You call the hospital to check on your child and the hospital informs you that "they are unable to give out that information." Your child is eight hours away.

If your "child" had signed a Healthcare Power of Attorney naming you to make medical decisions for her before leaving for college, you could have faxed or e-mailed her Healthcare Power of Attorney to the hospital, and, by law, you could have requested information about her condition and made decisions for her if she was unable to do so
for herself.

We include a Healthcare Power of Attorney in our estate planning packages. It names the person or persons you wish to have make your medical decisions for you if you become unable to do so. A Healthcare Power of Attorney also states whether you wish to be put on life support or not and if you want your organs donated. It also gives the person(s) you've named the ability to access your medical information.

Many people believe that if they are a spouse, partner, parent, child, or grandchild of an individual, doctors and hospital staff will listen to them and give them all the information they request. This is not always true. Especially due to the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA"), which was passed in 1993, doctors and hospitals are very private with patient information.

If you already have a Healthcare Power of Attorney, make sure that it includes "HIPAA" provisions. Many attorneys did not start implementing these provisions into their documents until 2004.

To view a short video by Long Beach Estate Planning Attorney John T. Anderson on the importance of a Healthcare Power of Attorney, Click Here.

Contact our office for more information on California estate planning and to have your Healthcare Power of
Attorney prepared.

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The Law Office of John T. Anderson
1741 E. Wardlow Rd., Long Beach, California 90807