A healthcare directive emergency doesn’t give us a warning. It just happens. For this reason, many of my Clients are keeping a copy of their healthcare directive inside their glove box.
Healthcare Directive Emergency – My Glove Box
Taking 30 minutes to look through an estate plan (which might include hundreds of pages) makes no sense when time is of the essence.
If I get into a car accident and the police are looking for documents specific to my car, they will find my healthcare directive.
Hurt at home and my spouse or friend rushes me to the hospital, I can say “look in my glove box”.
Even better, if I use my car to rush my spouse to the emergency room, we are ready.
Healthcare Directive Emergency – Keep it Hidden
Under no circumstances do I want to make it difficult to find my healthcare directive. When a healthcare directive emergency happens, I need my family to find it ASAP.
Earlier in my practice, some of the healthcare directives I used included social security numbers. As we all know, our doctors use our social security number to keep track of us. Back in the day, I was fearful that my important health history would be difficult to find.
Speed ahead ten years and it appears our doctors have updated systems making this less of a fear. I agree, most healthcare directives include very personal information about our wishes, doctors, family members and health conditions.
Again though, hiding our document when we need it the most doesn’t seem helpful either. Also, when was the last time your car was broken into? The crime rate for motor vehicle theft in 2015 represented 142 per 100,000 population.
Like you, I dislike the idea of a bad guy having my healthcare directive. On the other hand, I dislike leaving my family stuck in a time of need even more.
Healthcare Directive Emergency Alternatives
When I represent a person needing a healthcare directive, I always encourage them to give a copy to their doctor(s) and dentist(s).
Now, we can keep copies of our important documents on our phone too! Even though I like this idea, the likelihood of my family accessing my phone in an emergency is unlikely. Even more so, the likelihood of them remembering or recalling the password on my phone is even less.
Again, keeping a document in an accessible folder makes sense. When I have a Client who commutes a long distance or is fearful of not being prepared for the worst, I encourage them to keep a healthcare directive inside their glove box too.
Estate Attorney Jasper Berg