Where Should I Keep My Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will?

Congratulations! You’ve made important decisions for you and your loved ones and executed a Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will. Now, what do you do with these important documents?

Under Ohio law, copies of Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will documents are treated the same as originals.  You should provide a copy of the documents to your primary care physician and if you are undergoing a procedure, especially in a different health system from your primary care physician, you should provide copies to the health care provider in advance of the procedure.

I generally recommend giving a copy of the documents to your first agent, and other family members if you so desire.  You may wish to scan the documents and place them on your phone or email so that in the event you are travelling, you can access copies.

Like the Last Will and Testament and Financial Power of Attorney, the Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will can be revoked or modified at any time. If you decide to do so, they should be notarized instruments and notice should be given to your agents and health care providers who were previously provided with copies.

A Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will need not be filed with any Court. However, If you don’t have loved ones nearby or that you can trust, you may also wish to consider putting your Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will on deposit with the county probate court where you reside. For a nominal fee, the court will store your documents confidentially.

For more information on the Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will and other Estate Planning Documents, their storage and use, contact a Cleveland estate planning lawyer.