Home Articles The 4 Essential Estate Planning Documents

The 4 Essential Estate Planning Documents

4. HIPAA Release

At this point, most people are familiar with HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1966. This act protects sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent.

This is great most of the time, but what if you become incapitated and your loved ones, or your healthcare power of attorney, needs access to your medical information to make important decisions on your behalf?

This is when a HIPAA release form would come in.

While at most doctors offices, there is a form you fill out and name people who can be given your medical information, this is usually not enough when you become incapaciated. 

You will probably have multiple doctors at multiple locations.

A HIPAA release will grant someone the ability to get information from all these doctors if they need it. This is so important, especially for your health care power of attorney, so they can make informed decisions based on your medical history, not just by guessing.

All 4 of these documents can be completed at the same time with a lawyer. It is important you go to a professional to get these done, as you do not want any mistakes that could prevent your wishes from being properly carried out. 

It is also important you go to a lawyer in your state, as there are differences state to state with how these forms have to be arranged and filed.

If you need it, Cardinal can help you find a lawyer to get these forms in place. Do it sooner rather than later though, as you do not want to find yourself without them.


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Retirement planning involves a lot more than just managing your money. This show is the complete guide to planning for and living in retirement, helping families finish well. Host Hans Scheil will discuss a new topic every week ranging from Social Security and Medicare to IRAs and taxes. Follow along each week by downloading the corresponding chapters below for free! New episodes air: Finishing Well Schedule on Truth Network
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