September 19, 2016
When we are working with Estate Planning clients, we will often recommend that once we have finalized their documents, that they keep a copy of their Advance Medical Directive / Durable Medical Power of Attorney and their Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information (HIPAA) in the glove compartment of their vehicle(s) so that if they are ever in an accident, then the EMTs and/or other medical professionals will be able to find those documents to determine who they should contact.
While we still believe doing that is a good idea, there is also a new option that may be of great benefit to Virginia residents. The Virginia Emergency Contact Program, run through the DMV, is a free public service which allows Virginia citizens to store emergency contact information. It gives law enforcement a way to notify your family or friends in the vent of a serious crash or other emergency that leaves you unable to communicate.
If you are interested in this public service, please visit the DMV website.
It certainly does not take the place of an Advance Medicaid Directive / Durable Medical Power of Attorney or an Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information (HIPAA), but it can supplement those documents and help keep your loved ones informed if something unexpected were to happen to you.