Advance Medical Directives Need Easy Accessibility

Long-Term Care | Jun 30, 2014 | Hook Law Center

Many people are aware of the importance of advance medical directives. In the event that you become incapacitated, these directives detail what procedures you do or do not want and who should make decisions for you. Because these are important documents, people often keep copies in safe deposit boxes or leave them in the care of their attorneys, but copies also need to be easily accessible in case of a medical emergency.

In response to this need, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging has introduced an app that allows advance directives to be stored electronically. My Health Care Wishes is a convenient way for you or family members to present such documents to medical professionals via email or Bluetooth. Other information, including contacts and health information, can also be stored within the app. The electronic documents have the same legal authority as the paper originals. The app is available in a basic free version, and a $3.99 version offers additional features. Before launching, the Bar Association tested the app with health insurers and health care providers with solid results.

There are other options to store important documents in accessible electronic formats, including Dropbox and Docubank. Whichever method you use, make your documents available so that they can be useful when a problem appears.

The elder law attorneys at Hook Law Center assist Virginia families with will preparation, trust & estate administration, guardianships and conservatorships, long-term care planning, special needs planning, veterans benefits, and more. To learn more, visit or call 757-399-7506.

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