You’ve already read here about the importance of discussing death and dying, and why in Massachusetts you must have the document, and then have the conversation, so you know that having a health care proxy is important. If you do not have one, please contact me or any one of our estate planning attorneys to set up a conference call or a videoconference to discuss your estate plan.
If you have your estate plan in order, this is a good time to make sure that you have copies of your health care proxy, living will and HIPAA authorization available. As we are all hearing, hospitals are overwhelmed and only patients are being allowed into the hospital in the vast majority of cases, so you can not rely upon someone else to have these documents. There are some steps we can each take today to make it most likely that our health care agent will be able to make our decisions. In all cases, if your health care documents do not contain the contact information for your health care agents, please use a post it note to add that information to physical copies.
- Call your primary care physician’s office to see if you can email your health care documents to be entered into their system;
- Add a shortcut on the front page of your phone to an electronic version of your executed health care documents;
- Place a copy of your executed health care documents in your glove compartment if you have one;
- Make sure that each health care agent has a copy of your executed health care documents; and
- Print out multiple extra copies of your executed health care documents and keep them with you if you do go to the hospital.
If you have questions about estate planning, probate, trusts, and tax matters, please contact one of Conn Kavanaugh’s experienced estate planning lawyers.
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