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Sanford Law Firm Estate Planning and Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Five Estate Planning Documents You Should Understand Part III

In addition to having a Health Care Power of Attorney you should also consider executing a Living Will and a “stand alone” HIPAA Medical Release.  A Living Will is a simple document in which you give instructions to your health care providers as to when and if to cease providing you with life prolonging measures. 

The North Carolina provides a statutory form that allows you to indicate the different scenarios where you do not want life support, as well as, whether you would like any exceptions such as artificial nutrition and hydration. This form is called an Advanced Directive for a Natural Death.  Also, in the wake of the Terri Schaivo case in Florida, the North Carolina Legislature had the forethought to provide the opportunity for your Health Care Power of Attorney to override the Living Will if you desire.  As with many statutory forms, you are free to draft a document of your own in consultation with your advisors.  Depending on your particular situation drafting a custom document may be the more prudent course.

A HIPAA Medical Release is a companion document to a Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA).  Any recent HCPOA worth its salt will comply with HIPAA regulations giving the named persons access to your medical records.  Having a “stand alone” HIPAA document gives you greater flexibility, allowing you to grant access to your records to persons without granting them the decision making authority that accompanies the HCPOA. It’s great for keeping family members in the loop and for obtaining records on your behalf.  

In our next and last installment on this topic we will cover Trusts testamentary, living, revocable, irrevocable, etc.


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Based in Charlotte, NC the attorneys at Sanford Law Firm, PA assist clients throughout North Carolina including Charlotte, Monroe, Cornelius, Gastonia, Mecklenburg County, Cabarrus County, Lincoln County, Iredell County, Catawba County, Gaston County, Rowan County, Union County, Pineville, NC and Matthews, NC.



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