As of July 1, 2021, Indiana has a new law regarding advance directives, which includes health care powers of attorney and representatives, that will allow for more options when creating an advance directive.
While the new law is in effect, health care provisions declared in a power of attorney signed after December 21, 2022, will be void. That means by December 21, 2022, all new advanced directives must be compliant with the new law. It is important to note that health care powers of attorney signed before January 1, 2023, created under the old statute will still be valid.
Anyone who has executed advance directives under Indiana law should review their documents. Such documents impacted by these new law changes might be known as:
- Advanced Directives
- Health Care Power of Attorney
- Appointment of Health Representative
- Or other related health care documents
INDIANA'S ADVANCE DIRECTIVE LAW IMPORTANT DATES:
July 1, 2021: The law allows for additional options to be included in a new document.
January 1, 2023: Documents signed after this date must follow the new format. Documents signed before this date will still be valid.
What has changed?
- Now advance directive documents may be signed before a Notary or 2 witnesses.
- A spouse or family member may now be a witness.
- Remote or virtual signing options are allowed and will utilize the “in the presence of” option much like executing a Will. (Note: Remote and virtual signings have many requirements, so please consult with an attorney for more details.)
- The declarant, or signor, is required to put the new Advance Directive document into an electronic medical record. While this may pose some challenges depending on which medical record or physician's office may need to store the document, options and arrangements are being explored and implemented to comply with this law update.
- A complete copy of the signed directive must be given immediately to the first-named health care representative.
Health Care Provider Duty:
- A health care provider is no longer responsible for determining the validity of the Advance Directive document under the new law.
A few other things to note:
- Out-of-state health care directives are still valid.
- The Indiana P.O.S.T. form, the out-of-the-hospital DNR form, has not changed under these law updates. However, it was updated in 2018 to allow for physician assistants and advance practice registered nurses to sign.
- Unfortunately, the new law does not provide for a statutory form to use. While other states have a form that can be copied and filled in, Indiana does not. That means fees for the preparation of a new Advance Directive document will likely increase.
What can you do?
In our next post, we'll break down some of the specific things that are now allowed to be declared in this document format. In the meantime, if you have previously prepared advance directives, review them with an estate planning attorney to be sure these documents still represent your wishes. If you feel that some of the new changes allow for your wishes to be better represented, talk to an estate planning attorney about the new law and the new provisions.
If you haven't prepared an advance directive, consider setting a time to meet with an estate planning attorney to discuss what you want and how you can declare you wishes to protect you and your family.
If you find yourself without an estate planning attorney to call regarding questions and concerns about your advance directive, we would be happy to help and will offer you a complimentary consultation to answer your questions and discuss your options. Feel free to reach out to our team at www.grundenlaw.com or by calling 260-969-1177.