Estate Planning For Second Marriages

Estate Planning For Second Marriages

Estate planning for second marriages is often more complicated than estate planning in general. However, the experienced Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC have an impressive track record of helping clients like you successfully resolve their estate planning concerns.

As you move forward with your life, develop your career, and begin a family, estate planning is an important tool for protecting your legacy and for helping to ensure your continued support of your loved ones. Estate planning is essential to ensure your legal and financial rights are protected. If you are preparing to enter a second marriage –or have already married for a second time –the matter is likely to be that much more important. If you need professional legal guidance with estate planning for second marriages, the experienced Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC (512-505-2753) have the legal insight, experience, and focus to help.

Critical Considerations for Second Marriages

If you are facing the issue of estate planning for second marriages, there are several vital matters to keep in mind as you move forward toward either updating your estate planning or melding your efforts with your spouse-to-be into an entirely new joint estate plan. Some of the considerations you will need to keep at the forefront as you move forward in the process include:

  • The inheritance of your children who were born before your second marriage
  • The inheritance of any children who may come from your second marriage
  • Those assets that you and your spouse will continue to own as separate property
  • Any assets that will be retitled in both of your names, such as bank accounts, your home’s mortgage, and more
  • Any edits required on current estate planning tools, such as powers of attorney, trusts, and/or advance directives in Texas.

Before a first marriage, you are much less likely to have built up considerable financial wealth or have children already. Because these factors tend to guide estate planning, they naturally complicate the evolution of your estate planning within a second marriage. The optimal time to discuss these matters is before remarriage. This can also help you determine if a prenuptial agreement may be in order (depending upon how much distance there is between what you are looking for in your estate plan and what your soon-to-be spouse is looking for). If you have already married for a second time, you should not delay addressing the matter of your estate plan.

Children, Second Marriages, and Estate Planning

One of the most important concerns about estate planning for second marriages is that your children naturally want to protect their inheritance. If your new spouse also has children, the matter of their position in your estate plan may also become an issue. Further, if any of the children are minors, you will also need to address who will manage their inherited assets upon you or your spouse’s death.

If you have already established a Last Will and Testament (will) or trust for your children, you will need to determine how this element of your estate plan could affect your new spouse’s inheritance and whether it is in keeping with your wishes on the matter. This often amounts to balancing the preservation of your children’s inheritance with the share of your estate that you wish your spouse to retain. If you are considering having another child or having more children within the second marriage, you will have the inheritance of both sets of children to consider. The challenges of estate planning for second marriages are considerable, but the dedicated Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC can help you understand all of your legal options.

Understanding Beneficiary Designations

Because they forego probate, beneficiary designations are a powerful estate planning tool that allows the specific element of your estate to flow directly to the recipient whom you designate. Upon remarriage, it is important to carefully consider all of your beneficiary accounts to ensure they are designated appropriately in light of your new marriage. Such accounts can include:

  • Your 40l(k) and other retirement accounts
  • Life insurance policies
  • Annuities

It is also important to consider how your real estate and bank accounts are titled. Because the choices you make toward this end can have profound effects, working closely with an experienced estate planning attorney is always well advised. For example, designating your second spouse as a joint tenant with the right of survivorship to your home is convenient to tie up loose ends. Still, it also entitles your spouse to full ownership upon your death –regardless of how your estate plan is arranged, including the distribution of your assets (according to your wishes).

Consequences of the Failure To Create an Estate Plan

In the State of Texas, if you die during a second marriage, have children from a prior marriage, and have no estate plan, your assets will be distributed as follows (per the state’s laws of intestacy):

  • Your spouse will be entitled to one-half of your marital property (those assets that you both acquired throughout your marriage), to one-third of your separate property, and to use of your real estate for life.
  • Your children will be entitled to everything else.

An important point to note here is that keeping separate property separate throughout the years of marriage is challenging. If you do not put considerable effort into the distinction, property that you may consider separate could be deemed marital in the eyes of the law. In other words, without an estate plan in place, your children’s inheritance could be considerably smaller than you anticipated.

Consider Consulting with an Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney

If you are preparing to remarry, you are naturally looking forward to a new beginning, but it is also important to consider the financial legacy you have already begun. Marriage is often a trigger for estate planning, but if the marriage is your second, the need for solid estate planning is paramount. The experienced Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC have a wealth of impressive experience successfully guiding estate planning for second marriages, and we are here for you, too. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 today.

What Does Medical Power of Attorney in Texas Mean?

What Does Medical Power of Attorney in Texas Mean?

What Does Medical Power of Attorney in Texas Mean?

The Texas Medical Privacy Act helps protect your medical privacy. The dedicated estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas can help you address your estate planning concerns with this ironclad privacy.

The Texas Medical Privacy Act is a legal act implemented by the governor of Texas in 2001 to ensure that the state remains in compliance with federal standards related to patient privacy (as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 –HIPAA). HIPAA was the first federal legislation to address uniform privacy standards concerning patient information, and it is an important legal matter that affects all of us in significant ways. Still, it also has important implications for estate planning. If you have questions or concerns regarding your medical privacy and how it intertwines with your estate planning, the accomplished estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas (512-505-2753) have the skill and legal insight you need to ensure your legal rights remain protected.

Your Healthcare Directive

For your estate plans to be comprehensive and complete, you need to address the matter of a healthcare directive, which only kicks in if you cannot make healthcare decisions on your behalf. If you have strong opinions regarding how you would like your health care to be addressed in the event you are incapacitated, the only way to effectively and definitively address them is by implementing a medical power of attorney (medical POA) that designates an agent who will make your healthcare decisions on your behalf if the need should arise.

Make Decisions on Your Behalf

For the agent assigned in your Medical POA to make important decisions about your health care in your stead, they will need to have all the relevant information about your health available to them. The Texas Medical Privacy Act, which is the state’s version of HIPAA designed to protect your privacy, can become a sticking point. To bypass this privacy protection, you will need –in essence –a waiver that provides your doctors with the authorization to disclose your private healthcare information to the named party or parties.

Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information

In the State of Texas, the tool necessary to grant the agent of your medical POA the ability to obtain the information that they need to make serious medical decisions on your behalf is the Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information form. This form requires all of the following:

  • Your contact information
  • Whom you are granting permission to disclose your private healthcare information
  • Whom you are designating as the recipient of your private healthcare information
  • The kind of healthcare information you are allowing to be disclosed (there are a series of boxes you can check for inclusion –such as Physician’s Orders, Progress notes, Pathology Reports –as you deem appropriate).

There are also special categories of information that you will need to initial if you want them to be included in the private information that you are requesting be disclosed, including:

  • Your mental health records (excluding any notes from your psychotherapist)
  • Your drug, alcohol, and/or substance abuse records
  • Any HIV/AIDS test results or treatment
  • Genetic information, including genetic test results

Why You Need the HIPAA Authorization

There are three primary concerns to keep in mind when it comes to your estate plan and medical privacy.

The Power to Act

Even though you may have carefully granted the agent of your medical POA, living will, or another kind of medical directive the decision-making power to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf, the medical professional in charge of your care will probably not be comfortable providing them your private medical details without a legally executed HIPAA authorization. The Texas Medical Privacy Act is in place to protect your medical privacy. This leaves you responsible for providing explicit instructions regarding when you want this protection to be overridden (the doctor in question is not likely to make this decision for you).

Durability Clause

To ensure that your HIPAA authorization works for you, you will also need a durability clause in place. Your durability clause ensures that the powers granted in your medical POA will extend beyond any incapacitation, which means that if you become incapacitated, the medical POA will remain in effect.

Your Trust Can Also Be Affected

Your trust can also be affected by HIPAA in a way that you may not have considered. Your trust assigns a trustee who manages it according to your exacting specifications. Still, if something were to prevent your trustee from fulfilling their duty when the time comes (such as incapacitation), you might be out of options if there is no path forward toward replacing them. Again, the only way forward here is with a HIPAA authorization that allows your named replacement to obtain the medical information necessary to declare the original trustee incapacitated(according to the trust’s terms) and to step in on their behalf.

Consult with an Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney

Your estate plans are important to you, your family, and your legacy, and while there is a great deal of consideration involved, taking the time to get it right can give you the boost of confidence you are looking for when it comes to taking care of your family over time. The Texas Medical Privacy Act makes addressing matters related to your advance healthcare directive more complicated. The focused estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas have a wealth of experience effectively and efficiently addressing complicated HIPAA-related concerns. We are well prepared to unleash these skills in defense of your rights and in support of your intentions. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 for more information today.

How Does Guardianship Work in Texas?

How Does Guardianship Work in Texas?

How Does Guardianship Work in Texas?

The Texas Medical Privacy Act helps protect your medical privacy. The dedicated estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas can help you address your estate planning concerns with this ironclad privacy.

The Texas Medical Privacy Act is a legal act implemented by the governor of Texas in 2001 to ensure that the state remains in compliance with federal standards related to patient privacy (as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 –HIPAA). HIPAA was the first federal legislation to address uniform privacy standards concerning patient information, and it is an important legal matter that affects all of us in significant ways. Still, it also has important implications for estate planning. If you have questions or concerns regarding your medical privacy and how it intertwines with your estate planning, the accomplished estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas (512-505-2753) have the skill and legal insight you need to ensure your legal rights remain protected.

Your Healthcare Directive

For your estate plans to be comprehensive and complete, you need to address the matter of a healthcare directive, which only kicks in if you cannot make healthcare decisions on your behalf. If you have strong opinions regarding how you would like your health care to be addressed in the event you are incapacitated, the only way to effectively and definitively address them is by implementing a medical power of attorney (medical POA) that designates an agent who will make your healthcare decisions on your behalf if the need should arise.

Make Decisions on Your Behalf

For the agent assigned in your Medical POA to make important decisions about your health care in your stead, they will need to have all the relevant information about your health available to them. The Texas Medical Privacy Act, which is the state’s version of HIPAA designed to protect your privacy, can become a sticking point. To bypass this privacy protection, you will need –in essence –a waiver that provides your doctors with the authorization to disclose your private healthcare information to the named party or parties.

Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information

In the State of Texas, the tool necessary to grant the agent of your medical POA the ability to obtain the information that they need to make serious medical decisions on your behalf is the Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information form. This form requires all of the following:

  • Your contact information
  • Whom you are granting permission to disclose your private healthcare information
  • Whom you are designating as the recipient of your private healthcare information
  • The kind of healthcare information you are allowing to be disclosed (there are a series of boxes you can check for inclusion –such as Physician’s Orders, Progress notes, Pathology Reports –as you deem appropriate).

There are also special categories of information that you will need to initial if you want them to be included in the private information that you are requesting be disclosed, including:

  • Your mental health records (excluding any notes from your psychotherapist)
  • Your drug, alcohol, and/or substance abuse records
  • Any HIV/AIDS test results or treatment
  • Genetic information, including genetic test results

Why You Need the HIPAA Authorization

There are three primary concerns to keep in mind when it comes to your estate plan and medical privacy.

The Power to Act

Even though you may have carefully granted the agent of your medical POA, living will, or another kind of medical directive the decision-making power to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf, the medical professional in charge of your care will probably not be comfortable providing them your private medical details without a legally executed HIPAA authorization. The Texas Medical Privacy Act is in place to protect your medical privacy. This leaves you responsible for providing explicit instructions regarding when you want this protection to be overridden (the doctor in question is not likely to make this decision for you).

Durability Clause

To ensure that your HIPAA authorization works for you, you will also need a durability clause in place. Your durability clause ensures that the powers granted in your medical POA will extend beyond any incapacitation, which means that if you become incapacitated, the medical POA will remain in effect.

Your Trust Can Also Be Affected

Your trust can also be affected by HIPAA in a way that you may not have considered. Your trust assigns a trustee who manages it according to your exacting specifications. Still, if something were to prevent your trustee from fulfilling their duty when the time comes (such as incapacitation), you might be out of options if there is no path forward toward replacing them. Again, the only way forward here is with a HIPAA authorization that allows your named replacement to obtain the medical information necessary to declare the original trustee incapacitated(according to the trust’s terms) and to step in on their behalf.

Consult with an Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney

Your estate plans are important to you, your family, and your legacy, and while there is a great deal of consideration involved, taking the time to get it right can give you the boost of confidence you are looking for when it comes to taking care of your family over time. The Texas Medical Privacy Act makes addressing matters related to your advance healthcare directive more complicated. The focused estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas have a wealth of experience effectively and efficiently addressing complicated HIPAA-related concerns. We are well prepared to unleash these skills in defense of your rights and in support of your intentions. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 for more information today.

What Does Texas Require for An Advance Directive or Living Will?

What Does Texas Require for An Advance Directive or Living Will?

What Does Texas Require for An Advance Directive or Living Will?

The Texas Medical Privacy Act helps protect your medical privacy. The dedicated estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas can help you address your estate planning concerns with this ironclad privacy.

The Texas Medical Privacy Act is a legal act implemented by the governor of Texas in 2001 to ensure that the state remains in compliance with federal standards related to patient privacy (as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 –HIPAA). HIPAA was the first federal legislation to address uniform privacy standards concerning patient information, and it is an important legal matter that affects all of us in significant ways. Still, it also has important implications for estate planning. If you have questions or concerns regarding your medical privacy and how it intertwines with your estate planning, the accomplished estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas (512-505-2753) have the skill and legal insight you need to ensure your legal rights remain protected.

Your Healthcare Directive

For your estate plans to be comprehensive and complete, you need to address the matter of a healthcare directive, which only kicks in if you cannot make healthcare decisions on your behalf. If you have strong opinions regarding how you would like your health care to be addressed in the event you are incapacitated, the only way to effectively and definitively address them is by implementing a medical power of attorney (medical POA) that designates an agent who will make your healthcare decisions on your behalf if the need should arise.

Make Decisions on Your Behalf

For the agent assigned in your Medical POA to make important decisions about your health care in your stead, they will need to have all the relevant information about your health available to them. The Texas Medical Privacy Act, which is the state’s version of HIPAA designed to protect your privacy, can become a sticking point. To bypass this privacy protection, you will need –in essence –a waiver that provides your doctors with the authorization to disclose your private healthcare information to the named party or parties.

Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information

In the State of Texas, the tool necessary to grant the agent of your medical POA the ability to obtain the information that they need to make serious medical decisions on your behalf is the Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information form. This form requires all of the following:

  • Your contact information
  • Whom you are granting permission to disclose your private healthcare information
  • Whom you are designating as the recipient of your private healthcare information
  • The kind of healthcare information you are allowing to be disclosed (there are a series of boxes you can check for inclusion –such as Physician’s Orders, Progress notes, Pathology Reports –as you deem appropriate).

There are also special categories of information that you will need to initial if you want them to be included in the private information that you are requesting be disclosed, including:

  • Your mental health records (excluding any notes from your psychotherapist)
  • Your drug, alcohol, and/or substance abuse records
  • Any HIV/AIDS test results or treatment
  • Genetic information, including genetic test results

Why You Need the HIPAA Authorization

There are three primary concerns to keep in mind when it comes to your estate plan and medical privacy.

The Power to Act

Even though you may have carefully granted the agent of your medical POA, living will, or another kind of medical directive the decision-making power to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf, the medical professional in charge of your care will probably not be comfortable providing them your private medical details without a legally executed HIPAA authorization. The Texas Medical Privacy Act is in place to protect your medical privacy. This leaves you responsible for providing explicit instructions regarding when you want this protection to be overridden (the doctor in question is not likely to make this decision for you).

Durability Clause

To ensure that your HIPAA authorization works for you, you will also need a durability clause in place. Your durability clause ensures that the powers granted in your medical POA will extend beyond any incapacitation, which means that if you become incapacitated, the medical POA will remain in effect.

Your Trust Can Also Be Affected

Your trust can also be affected by HIPAA in a way that you may not have considered. Your trust assigns a trustee who manages it according to your exacting specifications. Still, if something were to prevent your trustee from fulfilling their duty when the time comes (such as incapacitation), you might be out of options if there is no path forward toward replacing them. Again, the only way forward here is with a HIPAA authorization that allows your named replacement to obtain the medical information necessary to declare the original trustee incapacitated(according to the trust’s terms) and to step in on their behalf.

Consult with an Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney

Your estate plans are important to you, your family, and your legacy, and while there is a great deal of consideration involved, taking the time to get it right can give you the boost of confidence you are looking for when it comes to taking care of your family over time. The Texas Medical Privacy Act makes addressing matters related to your advance healthcare directive more complicated. The focused estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas have a wealth of experience effectively and efficiently addressing complicated HIPAA-related concerns. We are well prepared to unleash these skills in defense of your rights and in support of your intentions. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 for more information today.

What Is Estate Planning?

What Is Estate Planning?

What Is Estate Planning?

The Texas Medical Privacy Act helps protect your medical privacy. The dedicated estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas can help you address your estate planning concerns with this ironclad privacy.

The Texas Medical Privacy Act is a legal act implemented by the governor of Texas in 2001 to ensure that the state remains in compliance with federal standards related to patient privacy (as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 –HIPAA). HIPAA was the first federal legislation to address uniform privacy standards concerning patient information, and it is an important legal matter that affects all of us in significant ways. Still, it also has important implications for estate planning. If you have questions or concerns regarding your medical privacy and how it intertwines with your estate planning, the accomplished estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas (512-505-2753) have the skill and legal insight you need to ensure your legal rights remain protected.

Your Healthcare Directive

For your estate plans to be comprehensive and complete, you need to address the matter of a healthcare directive, which only kicks in if you cannot make healthcare decisions on your behalf. If you have strong opinions regarding how you would like your health care to be addressed in the event you are incapacitated, the only way to effectively and definitively address them is by implementing a medical power of attorney (medical POA) that designates an agent who will make your healthcare decisions on your behalf if the need should arise.

Make Decisions on Your Behalf

For the agent assigned in your Medical POA to make important decisions about your health care in your stead, they will need to have all the relevant information about your health available to them. The Texas Medical Privacy Act, which is the state’s version of HIPAA designed to protect your privacy, can become a sticking point. To bypass this privacy protection, you will need –in essence –a waiver that provides your doctors with the authorization to disclose your private healthcare information to the named party or parties.

Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information

In the State of Texas, the tool necessary to grant the agent of your medical POA the ability to obtain the information that they need to make serious medical decisions on your behalf is the Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information form. This form requires all of the following:

  • Your contact information
  • Whom you are granting permission to disclose your private healthcare information
  • Whom you are designating as the recipient of your private healthcare information
  • The kind of healthcare information you are allowing to be disclosed (there are a series of boxes you can check for inclusion –such as Physician’s Orders, Progress notes, Pathology Reports –as you deem appropriate).

There are also special categories of information that you will need to initial if you want them to be included in the private information that you are requesting be disclosed, including:

  • Your mental health records (excluding any notes from your psychotherapist)
  • Your drug, alcohol, and/or substance abuse records
  • Any HIV/AIDS test results or treatment
  • Genetic information, including genetic test results

Why You Need the HIPAA Authorization

There are three primary concerns to keep in mind when it comes to your estate plan and medical privacy.

The Power to Act

Even though you may have carefully granted the agent of your medical POA, living will, or another kind of medical directive the decision-making power to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf, the medical professional in charge of your care will probably not be comfortable providing them your private medical details without a legally executed HIPAA authorization. The Texas Medical Privacy Act is in place to protect your medical privacy. This leaves you responsible for providing explicit instructions regarding when you want this protection to be overridden (the doctor in question is not likely to make this decision for you).

Durability Clause

To ensure that your HIPAA authorization works for you, you will also need a durability clause in place. Your durability clause ensures that the powers granted in your medical POA will extend beyond any incapacitation, which means that if you become incapacitated, the medical POA will remain in effect.

Your Trust Can Also Be Affected

Your trust can also be affected by HIPAA in a way that you may not have considered. Your trust assigns a trustee who manages it according to your exacting specifications. Still, if something were to prevent your trustee from fulfilling their duty when the time comes (such as incapacitation), you might be out of options if there is no path forward toward replacing them. Again, the only way forward here is with a HIPAA authorization that allows your named replacement to obtain the medical information necessary to declare the original trustee incapacitated(according to the trust’s terms) and to step in on their behalf.

Consult with an Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney

Your estate plans are important to you, your family, and your legacy, and while there is a great deal of consideration involved, taking the time to get it right can give you the boost of confidence you are looking for when it comes to taking care of your family over time. The Texas Medical Privacy Act makes addressing matters related to your advance healthcare directive more complicated. The focused estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas have a wealth of experience effectively and efficiently addressing complicated HIPAA-related concerns. We are well prepared to unleash these skills in defense of your rights and in support of your intentions. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 for more information today.

How to Ask Someone to Be the Guardian of Your Child

How to Ask Someone to Be the Guardian of Your Child

How to Ask Someone to Be the Guardian of Your Child

The Texas Medical Privacy Act helps protect your medical privacy. The dedicated estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas can help you address your estate planning concerns with this ironclad privacy.

The Texas Medical Privacy Act is a legal act implemented by the governor of Texas in 2001 to ensure that the state remains in compliance with federal standards related to patient privacy (as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 –HIPAA). HIPAA was the first federal legislation to address uniform privacy standards concerning patient information, and it is an important legal matter that affects all of us in significant ways. Still, it also has important implications for estate planning. If you have questions or concerns regarding your medical privacy and how it intertwines with your estate planning, the accomplished estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas (512-505-2753) have the skill and legal insight you need to ensure your legal rights remain protected.

Your Healthcare Directive

For your estate plans to be comprehensive and complete, you need to address the matter of a healthcare directive, which only kicks in if you cannot make healthcare decisions on your behalf. If you have strong opinions regarding how you would like your health care to be addressed in the event you are incapacitated, the only way to effectively and definitively address them is by implementing a medical power of attorney (medical POA) that designates an agent who will make your healthcare decisions on your behalf if the need should arise.

Make Decisions on Your Behalf

For the agent assigned in your Medical POA to make important decisions about your health care in your stead, they will need to have all the relevant information about your health available to them. The Texas Medical Privacy Act, which is the state’s version of HIPAA designed to protect your privacy, can become a sticking point. To bypass this privacy protection, you will need –in essence –a waiver that provides your doctors with the authorization to disclose your private healthcare information to the named party or parties.

Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information

In the State of Texas, the tool necessary to grant the agent of your medical POA the ability to obtain the information that they need to make serious medical decisions on your behalf is the Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information form. This form requires all of the following:

  • Your contact information
  • Whom you are granting permission to disclose your private healthcare information
  • Whom you are designating as the recipient of your private healthcare information
  • The kind of healthcare information you are allowing to be disclosed (there are a series of boxes you can check for inclusion –such as Physician’s Orders, Progress notes, Pathology Reports –as you deem appropriate).

There are also special categories of information that you will need to initial if you want them to be included in the private information that you are requesting be disclosed, including:

  • Your mental health records (excluding any notes from your psychotherapist)
  • Your drug, alcohol, and/or substance abuse records
  • Any HIV/AIDS test results or treatment
  • Genetic information, including genetic test results

Why You Need the HIPAA Authorization

There are three primary concerns to keep in mind when it comes to your estate plan and medical privacy.

The Power to Act

Even though you may have carefully granted the agent of your medical POA, living will, or another kind of medical directive the decision-making power to make important healthcare decisions on your behalf, the medical professional in charge of your care will probably not be comfortable providing them your private medical details without a legally executed HIPAA authorization. The Texas Medical Privacy Act is in place to protect your medical privacy. This leaves you responsible for providing explicit instructions regarding when you want this protection to be overridden (the doctor in question is not likely to make this decision for you).

Durability Clause

To ensure that your HIPAA authorization works for you, you will also need a durability clause in place. Your durability clause ensures that the powers granted in your medical POA will extend beyond any incapacitation, which means that if you become incapacitated, the medical POA will remain in effect.

Your Trust Can Also Be Affected

Your trust can also be affected by HIPAA in a way that you may not have considered. Your trust assigns a trustee who manages it according to your exacting specifications. Still, if something were to prevent your trustee from fulfilling their duty when the time comes (such as incapacitation), you might be out of options if there is no path forward toward replacing them. Again, the only way forward here is with a HIPAA authorization that allows your named replacement to obtain the medical information necessary to declare the original trustee incapacitated(according to the trust’s terms) and to step in on their behalf.

Consult with an Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney

Your estate plans are important to you, your family, and your legacy, and while there is a great deal of consideration involved, taking the time to get it right can give you the boost of confidence you are looking for when it comes to taking care of your family over time. The Texas Medical Privacy Act makes addressing matters related to your advance healthcare directive more complicated. The focused estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas have a wealth of experience effectively and efficiently addressing complicated HIPAA-related concerns. We are well prepared to unleash these skills in defense of your rights and in support of your intentions. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 for more information today.