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Why Signing A HIPAA Release is Vital For Estate Planning

KSMH Law Group, PLLC Sept. 8, 2022

Creating a well-detailed estate plan involves more than drafting your will or naming beneficiaries. A crucial part of your estate planning is making adequate provisions for contingencies in the event of an unforced medical emergency. Through a HIPAA Authorization, you can authorize your doctor or healthcare provider to disclose information about your health condition to family members. An experienced Texas estate planning attorney can educate you about how HIPAA authorization relates to estate planning. 

At KSMH Law Group, PLLC, I’m committed to offering reliable advocacy and experienced guidance to clients in the legal matters of estate planning. I’m available to discuss your unique situation, helping you understand what HIPAA Authorization is and why it’s important to sign a HIPAA release as part of your estate plan. My firm proudly serves clients across San Antonio, Leon Valley, Kirby, Universal City, and Live Oak, Texas. 

Understanding HIPAA 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law established to protect the health information of Americans from getting released to third parties or other people without the person’s consent. The HIPAA rules state the national standards which will be used to protect the patient’s sensitive health information. It’s important that medical information is not disclosed to other persons or entities without the knowledge or consent of the patient. 

HIPAA rules and regulations comprise three major components: the HIPAA Privacy Rules, HIPAA Security Rules, and HIPAA Breach Notification Rules. 

HIPAA Privacy Rules: HIPAA privacy rules protect your health records and other personal medical information from being shared with individuals and third parties without any authorization. Under the privacy rules, HIPAA authorization will be required before your protected health information (PHI) may be disclosed. 

HIPAA Security Rules: HIPAA security rules set stringent standards to protect against hacking or acquiring digitized medical records through illegal means. 

HIPAA Breach Notification Rules: HIPAA breach notification rules necessitate HIPAA-covered entities to give prompt notification when there is a breach in protected health information. 

The information in a HIPAA authorization form is referred to as “protected information.” This information includes your name, phone number, address, social security number, and other health information. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand the importance of a HIPAA release in your estate plan. 

Why is HIPAA Authorization

Important in Estate Planning? 

A signed HIPAA release is a crucial part of your estate planning documents. Below are some reasons to include HIPAA authorization in your estate plan: 

  • It provides your loved ones with access to your medical records. Hence, they can have up-to-date information about your prognosis and make informed healthcare decisions on your behalf. 

  • It allows your loved ones to access and pay medical costs incurred from your medical treatment and procedures. 

  • It absolves the health provider or hospital from possible liability for disclosing your sensitive health information or medical records. 

  • It allows the trustee or successor trustee to get medical information about the trustor in the event of a critical illness or sudden incapacitation. 

Additionally, a HIPAA release works together with a revocable living trust or advance directive as part of your estate plan. You can sign your HIPAA release form with or without the presence of a witness. 

Who Needs to Sign a Release? 

The following people may need to sign the HIPAA Release 

  • You 

  • Your personal representative 

  • Your power of attorney 

  • Your family members 

A skilled Texas estate planning lawyer can enlighten you about the information to include in your HIPAA authorization and who may access your health details. 

Get Trusted Legal Advice Today 

Planning for future uncertainties and putting your affairs in order can feel overwhelming—but it’s never too early to start the process. In the event that you become critically ill, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to act, your family members can know your health condition and make informed medical decisions for you using the medical details obtained from the HIPAA release. A trusted estate planning attorney can explore your available estate planning options and help you navigate crucial decisions. 

At KSMH Law Group, PLLC, I have the diligence and knowledge to advise and guide clients through the complicated procedures involved in estate planning. As your legal counsel, I can explore your options regarding estate planning and educate you about HIPAA Authorization, as well as the benefits of including the release form as part of your estate plan. I will carefully address your various needs and concerns and help you achieve your estate planning goals. 

Contact my firm – KSMH Law Group, PLLC – today to schedule a simple consultation with a skilled estate planning lawyer. I can offer you the dedicated advocacy and assistance you need to make key decisions when drawing up your estate plan. My firm is proud to serve individuals and families across San Antonio, Leon Valley, Kirby, Universal City, Live Oak, and the rest of Texas.