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New Jersey Employment Lawyers > Blog > Estate Planning > Estate Planning: What is a HIPAA Release and Why Do I Need One?

Estate Planning: What is a HIPAA Release and Why Do I Need One?


Every adult should have an estate plan in place. A good estate plan is a comprehensive estate plan. A HIPAA release is an important—but often overlooked—estate planning document. At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, we are committed to helping people and families organize and manage their estate planning needs. In this article, our estate planning attorney explains what a HIPAA release is and why it can be an important part of a comprehensive estate plan.

HIPAA is a Federal Law that Protects Patient Confidentiality

 The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that is designed to protect the confidentiality of patient information, including medical records. It applies to doctors, nurses, health care providers, and even insurance companies. The law limits who can access and share a patient’s medical records and personal health information. HIPAA helps to ensure that sensitive health data remains confidential unless the patient provides explicit permission

A HIPAA Release Allows Trusted Loved One Access to Medical Records 

Here is the estate planning challenge: HIPAA protections are so strong that they can make it difficult for the family members of an elderly or otherwise vulnerable person to get access to medical records. A HIPAA release solves this issue. Implementing a HIPAA release form as part of your estate planning allows specific, trusted individuals—often family members—to access your medical information in situations where you cannot communicate your wishes. By signing a HIPAA release, you designate who can obtain details about your health status, medical treatment, and other private health information. Access is crucial during emergency and otherwise challenging situations.

Comprehensive Estate Planning Should Protect Your Health and Well-Being 

Estate planning is about far more than deciding who gets to inherit what. A well-crafted estate plan should protect a person’s health and well-being no matter what tomorrow brings. A HIPAA release is one example of a health care-focused estate planning document. You may also want to include the following as part of your estate plan:

  • Healthcare Power of Attorney: A healthcare POA is a document that allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
  • Living Will: Also known as an advance directive, a living will outlines your wishes regarding medical treatment if you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious.
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Finances: A durable POA is an estate planning document that permits a designated person to manage financial affairs if you become incapacitated.

 Get Help From Our Estate Planning Attorney Today

At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our estate planning lawyer is a diligent and solutions-focused advocate for clients. If you have any questions about HIPAA releases or any other estate planning matter, we are here as a resource. Contact us today for a confidential consultation. We provide estate planning services in New Jersey and New York.



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