Health Care Directive

September 18, 2013

In Minnesota, a health care directive is a document that contains two parts: a traditional “living will” and a designation of a Health Care Agent. A “living will” is a legal document that allows you to make known your wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatment and to authorize an individual, such as your spouse or child, to make medical decisions on your behalf, within the dictates stated in the document, in the event you are unable to do so. In addition to incorporating the traditional aspects of a living will, a health care directive allows you to appoint an authorized agent under HIPAA, the federal code which sets national security standards relating to protected health information. This designation permits the agent to both access and re-disclose your health care records for purposes such as making health care decisions, and discussing information relating to your medical care and treatment with your family members.

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.

The information on this site is not intended to provide specific legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship may only be created through an explicit agreement with our firm.

IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To comply with requirements imposed by the Department of the Treasury, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written by the practitioner to be used, and that it cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer, and (ii) supporting the promotion or marketing of any transactions or matters addressed herein.

Our use of a disclaimer does not change the high degree of care and attention that we devote to our tax advice. Moreover, the inclusion of the disclaimer does not indicate that penalties could be imposed on the transaction at issue, but rather merely indicates that the advice we have provided you in such communication does not preclude the IRS from asserting penalties. Finally, please be assured that the use of such a disclaimer to avoid unnecessary legal expenses is similar to the approach adopted by most other tax practitioners.