Opportunities in New Health Care Representative Law by Troy C. Kiefer
An essential legal document that everyone should have is an Appointment of Health Care Representative. Recent changes to Indiana law make it important that you review your Appointment of Health Care Representative with your attorney.
Unfortunately, injury and the illnesses of old age often make it difficult or even impossible for a person to make their own decisions. If a person can’t make health care decisions for themselves, someone must be appointed to make those decisions for them.
Indiana recently updated its Health Care Representative law, making it easier to appoint a Health Care Representative and providing additional options for unique and creative decision making. The law also provides additional powers by default to a Health Care Representative. Some of these default powers may not be what you would want, so it is important to review them.
The new law also allows an Appointment of Health Care Representative to reference important programs that help people make their health care and end-of-life decisions, and give those programs the force of law. A couple of good examples of these programs are Fives Wishes (fivewishes.org) and Prepare For Your Care (prepareforyourcare.org).
Existing Appointments of Health Care Representative are still valid, but these changes in the law make it a good time to revisit your important health care decisions. Speak with your attorney to discuss these changes and how they may affect you.