Your health care directive combines two more traditional documents: a health care power of attorney and a living will. Accordingly, the first section of the health care directive allows you to appoint a health care personal representative to access your medical records on your behalf if you are unavailable or otherwise unable to do so. The second section of the health care directive gives a description of your wishes relating to end-of-life medical treatment and authorizes your health care personal representative to make medical decisions on your behalf, heeding your written wishes, if you are unable to do so for yourself. The health care directive is HIPPA compliant.
If you have not executed a health care directive prior to your incapacity, it may become necessary for a court to appoint a guardian for you to make your medical decisions and access necessary medical records on your behalf. A guardianship proceeding can be a lengthy and expensive process that may require ongoing court supervision. Often, individuals who have executed health care directives in Minnesota can avoid the need for a guardian.