So, you've been a responsible adult and have recently completed your estate plan. As part of your plan, you have a Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will, and HIPAA Authorization. Now what?
Here's what I recommend with regard to those documents:
- Keep the originals at home in a place that your Health Care Agent knows about.
- Provide a copy to your Health Care Agent, physician and hospital.
- Register the documents with one of these services:
Legal Directives, LLC - Annual fee, wallet card issued. Available through certain law firms at a reduced cost. Automatically provide copies to your physician if you wish.
Docubank - Annual fee, wallet card issued. Available through certain law firms at a reduced cost.
U.S. Living Will Registry - No charge, but must be submitted through a "Community Partner"
North Carolina Secretary of State - One time fee of $10 per document. The cheapest, but a "no-frills" version.
Registration is especially important for those who travel a lot. Folks who regularly spend extended periods in other states should consider having advance directives prepared for that state as well, taking care not to revoke the primary state's forms.