In a health crisis, make sure you have legal permission to speak for your loved ones
July 21, 2020
In the midst of a health crisis in America, now is a great time to make sure that if crisis strikes, you can talk to your loved one's medical team.
Now is a a GREAT time to do a living will (declaration for a natural death) and a health care power of attorney. Parents of 18 year olds- even if they act like kids, they are not in the eyes of the law. If your college freshman gets sick, you need a HIPAA release (at the very least) to get information.
So get some health care power of attorneys, HIPAA Forms, and other documents you need. The NC Secretary of State, Elaine Marshall, has most of the forms for free! They do not have to be formally registered, but you can register them with the Secretary of State for $10 for extra protection. Hospitals can check the registry. The forms do need to be notarized. Check with your bank about notarizing things. During Covid you can do some notary functions by video!
Here is a link to those NC Secretary of State free downloadable forms: https://www.sosnc.gov/divisions/advance_healthcare_directives?fbclid=IwAR0Gs6izQzGZ4mxaTcBVXUs8CqIJg5gCH-7cTejvUiqGPo3Pk5gbuOPPvZ4
A plain old HIPAA (medical release) form will allow doctors to talk and most hospitals won't require it to be notarized.
Here is a generic HIPAA you can use that is "form fillable" as a PDF or printable. If you have a printer, I would actually print it out and fill it in by hand rather than use the electronic signature. But if you don't have access to a printer, this should work too. Download GENERIC HIPAA 2020
I've always found that the more I prepare for trial, the less likely I am to have a trial. So think of this as the lowest risk preventative medicine ever!
Note: these forms can be little complicated, so if you have questions, look for an estate planning lawyer near you. I don't do that type of work, so I'm not your go-to person to answer specifics. :)
Chris Nichols, Attorney
Nichols Law Firm
From the home office
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