The Senate Enrolled Act No. 204 (SEA 204) was enacted last year to provide more flexibility for health care decisions traditionally contained in a Health Care Advance Directive (Advance Directive). An Advance Directive is a legal document allowing an individual (known as a “declarant”) to designate another individual as their health care representative (HCR), who in the event of the declarant’s incapacity, has authority to make certain healthcare and treatment decisions on their behalf. While major provisions of SEA 204 were enacted in 2021, others only recently took effect.
What changed for HCRs on July 1, 2022?
The most recent updates went into effect on July 1, 2022, and provide:
- An updated list of persons excluded from serving as an HCR, including:
- individuals disqualified in the declarant’s Advance Directive,
- spouses legally separated from the declarant,
- individuals subject to a declarant’s protective or court order, and
- individuals with pending criminal charges in which the declarant is an alleged victim.
- Immunity for health care providers relying in good faith on an HCR’s healthcare or treatment decision made on behalf of an incapacitated person with a valid and effective Advance Directive.
What changed for HCRs Last Year?
In 2021, SEA 204 eliminated language and mandatory Advance Directive Indiana form requirements, treatment preferences, and updated signing requirements for certain documents. In general, an Advance Directive must be signed by the declarant and witnessed by either two (2) adults or a notary public. The execution of an Advance Directive may be performed in person or remotely pursuant to certain prescribed methods (such as video call or telephone call in the event the parties are not in the same physical location).
For more information about advance directives and health care representatives, contact one of our Estate Planning attorneys.