Included in our basic estate planning portfolio is an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD). This document sets appoints an agent to make your medical decisions if you are unable to do so and explains your health care wishes, burial preferences and several other important decisions regarding your medical care and preferences upon your death.
In past blogs we have discussed important issues to think about when creating your Advance Health Care
Directive. In February, Kim’s blog topic was including an Advance Health Care as part of a college freshman’s check list. Lisa has two blogs on important AHCD issues; organ donation in June and just last week options for cremated remains. Today I wanted to discuss the importance of having access to your AHCD.
Frequently when the AHCD is needed it is an emergency situation. Most people don’t have their AHCD on them all the time. So what do you do when you are in the hospital and your doctors need access to your AHCD?
Several years ago the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys recommended a service that stores Advance Health Care Directives and provides 24 hour, 356 day a year access to your AHCD—Docubank.
When our clients initially sign their Estate Planning Documents we provide them the option of signing up for Docubank and we pick up the cost for the first year.
Here is more information regarding their services from their website:
“DocuBank is the largest and oldest electronic storage and access service for healthcare directives in the nation. DocuBank helps to ensure your medical wishes are known and respected when it counts. Around the clock, around the world. When you store your healthcare documents with DocuBank, you receive a customized DocuBank Emergency Card that makes all of your critical healthcare documents available in two convenient ways:
A Call: By placing a toll free call to 1-800-DOCUBANK hospitals can have your directives immediately faxed to them
A Click: Simply by clicking the Hospital Button, or using the pop up box on the DocuBank home page, hospital staff can view and print documents immediately.
The DocuBank card lists important medical conditions and allergy information so that it is immediately available at the hospital. The name and contact information of one emergency contact also appears on the face of the card. The DocuBank Emergency card arrives within 4-6 weeks of enrollment and comes with alert stickers to be placed on the members’ driver’s license. These alert stickers tell hospital and emergency staff that they can obtain your healthcare directives using your DocuBank wallet card. “
At the end of the first year Docubank sends a renewal notice directly to their members and it is up to them whether they chose to renew the membership. Many of our clients choose to renew their membership with Docubank. Falk, Cornell & Associates is not notified if our clients have chosen to renew or not. Please keep in mind if you have chosen to renew the membership and you have updated your Advance Health Care Directive please remember to send the updated information directly to Docubank as our office only sends in the initial Advance Health Care Directive. If your membership has lapsed and you wish to re-enroll with Docubank please visit their website at www.docubank.com. You will need to make sure they have an updated copy of your Advance Health Care Directive.