To recap our previous blog post .....
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.
In our previous blog post, we shared some additional changes that come into effect with this new update. However, below you'll see some of what the law allows declarants to include such as:
- May the authority be delegated to someone else?
- Is there a specific restriction upon who may serve?
- May the health care representative charge an hourly rate for services and/or be reimbursed for expenses?
- Is the directive springing (effective upon a future date or occurrence) or non-springing (effective upon signing)?
- May the health care representative apply for public benefits such as Medicaid or Social Security? (Note: Be careful that a decision here does not conflict with a financial power of attorney.)
- May the health care representative access the declarant's mental health records?
- May the document be revoked verbally or in writing only?
- Is anyone appointed to advise the health care representative in his/her decision-making?
- Who may have access to the declarant's health care records?
- May the health care representative determine whether the declarant is mentally incapacitated?
- If more than one person is appointed to act as a health care representative, how may they act? (Majority, unanimous, etc.)?
- Is there a method of oversight of the health care representative, such as being required to report to the family?
- Other freedoms are available to add additional terms such as stating preferences for treatment options, procedures, and/or palliative care.
Beginning the discussion about such aspects as outlined above can be overwhelming and difficult. To help you and those you love begin exploring aspects of your wishes, consider visiting the following websites:
- Prepare For Your Care – https://prepareforyourcare.org
- Five Wishes - https://fivewishes.org/
- Respecting/Honoring Choices - https://respectingchoices.org/
What can you do?
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.