Who Gets My Healthcare Directive?
Once you fill out the standard healthcare directive form, or you have created your healthcare directive with your estate planner, you need a simple, but comprehensive way to ensure that your wishes are known upon your incapacitation. Make several copies of the directive, indicating on each, the location of all the copies.
You need to keep the original for yourself. Don’t store it in an ultra-secure location like a safe hidden under the floor in the basement of your cousin’s house. Your healthcare directive needs to be easy to find on a moment’s notice. Simply place the original in a folder at your desk. Of course, if you have a safe, put a copy in there as well.
Give a copy to your lawyer. If your lawyer helped you create the healthcare directive, then she or he will already have a copy. However, double-check to ensure your lawyer has a copy. If the directive comes under question, you will want your lawyer to have quick access to the most recent copy.
Give a copy to anyone named as a healthcare agent. You should have already gone over your wishes with anyone named as your healthcare agent. However, once you have actually signed the final version, distribute a copy to those named in the document.
Think carefully before you hand out any other copies. Your healthcare directive might have some personal choices that will upset your spouse or children. Keep your instructions as private as possible.