For a healthy estate plan, know the HIPAA privacy rules
Abstract: Health issues play an important role in a variety of estate planning situations. Typically, many estate planning documents and document provisions are triggered by a physician’s certification that a person lacks the capacity to make decisions. But this requirement may be at odds with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA privacy rules prohibit physicians, hospitals and other health care providers from discussing a patient’s condition or releasing his or her medical records to third parties without the patient’s written consent. To ensure timely acquisition of the necessary information, it’s important to ensure that estate plan documents are written with HIPAA requirements in mind.