This includes your loved one’s:
- Advance Directive
- Beneficiary Designations
- DNR (Do Not Resuscitate Order)
- Living Will
- POLST Form (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)
- Power of Attorney for Finances
- Power of Attorney for Health Care (Health Care Proxy or Surrogate)
- Trust Agreement
- and other related items
The first place to look is in your loved one’s home. He or she probably has one place, such as a lock box or file drawer, where they keep their insurance policies and other important papers. This may or may not be the same place where they keep bills to be paid.
The next place to look is in a safe deposit box at the bank where they do business. The most obvious one to start with is the bank where they have their checking account. However, you will not be able to access the safe deposit box unless your signature is on file as someone who is authorized to open it.
If your loved one named you in writing as someone who has their permission to see their medical records, your loved one’s doctor may have a copy of his or her Advance Directive, Living Will and/or Power of Attorney for Healthcare in your loved one’s medical file.
Finally, talk with your loved one’s attorney. He or she should have kept at least one copy with original signatures of each document they prepared for your loved one.
Important Note: Don’t expect anyone to give you these documents if your only reason is curiosity. You must have a valid reason, as defined by law, to see your loved one’s private papers.
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