It’s hard to get started on things that don’t come naturally or things that are unfamiliar. It can feel scary to get to work and take the time to create health care directives. Often, after these documents do get created they are left to get “dusty”. Health care directives shouldn’t be documents that you set and forget! 

In fact, you should set a time each year to sit down and go over your documents. Has anything in your life changed? Review your documents and ask yourself what is different now than it was a year ago. Are the people you have named still appropriate and do the documents still follow your wishes. 

Be sure to sit down and communicate with your loved ones if any of your wishes have changed. 

If you have moved across state lines, take a moment to sit down with an attorney to review your documents. Although we have full faith and credit on the U.S. constitution which means our documents are valid even in a new state some states have special nuances.  For example, Arizona has some nuances pertaining to mental health that you might want to specifically address in your directives.

The last thing I want to leave you with is the storage of your documents, not only is it important that your chosen health care agents have a copy of your directives, it’s important that your documents can be available at a moments notice. There are many great digital storage options such as dropbox and google. A great tool that we use in our office is DockuBank. 

DockuBank is a third-party service that allows you to upload all of your documents securely and have them handy in emergency situations, 24-hours a day at a moment’s notice. DocuBank provides users with a credit card-sized card that can fit in your wallet that has instructions and means to give direct access to all your documents. This card also can list important health care information such as allergies, medical conditions, and emergency contacts.

Let’s review! After your documents have been completed set a date to review them for changes each year. If you happen to move out of state sit down with a local attorney to make sure there aren’t any nuances you want to address. Look into using a digital storage to store all your documents. Last but not least, make sure to always communicate with your loved ones your wishes and any changes, and be sure that your agents have a copy or access to your directives!