Health Care Directives Are Necessary for Everyone


By Jason Weinstock on March 29, 2012

Attorney Laura Stubberud is an experienced estate planning attorney who wrote the following guest blog post.  I thought it was important information for injured workers.  For more blog posts on estate planning and elder law, please visit  Attorney Stubberud ‘s blog at www.nvestatelaw.com.             

By Laura Stubberud

I am often asked what is the one thing that every person needs in an estate plan.  The answer is easy:  Health Care Directives.   Regardless of whether you have any money or property, you need to address decisions to be made during your life in the event of serious injury, illness or incapacity.  I tell all of my clients that as soon as their children turn 18 years old, they need to sign a durable power of attorney for health care. 

 They are almost always surprised until I remind them of that funny law known as HIPPA (the Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act – http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/).  You know what that is.  Every time you go to a new doctor or are admitted into the hospital, you must sign a HIPPA release.   Under this law, health care providers are not allowed to share your medical information with anyone who is not legally entitled to receive that information, including family and friends. 

 Imagine if your adult child were in a car accident and unconscious and you were denied information about his or her medical condition.  A durable power of attorney for health care allows you to specify who can receive your medical information.  In addition, the power of attorney allows you to set forth your desires regarding medical care if you are unable to communicate those desires yourself.  These directives allow you to specify your decisions regarding end-of-life matters as well as  religious provisions, decisions regarding nursing home care, surgeries, etc.  

Everyone over the age of 18 needs a durable power of attorney for health care.  It may be a matter of life or death, but it is definitely a matter of love.

 The Law Office of Laura E. Stubberud , 2831 St. Rose Pkwy., Suite 303, Henderson, NV 89052. Phone 702-589-4804,  email at laura@stubberudlaw.com.

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