The Government’s My Health Record and Estate Planning

There has been a lot of media publicity of late around the issue of whether or not people should opt in or out of the Government’s somewhat contentious My Health Record which comes into full effect on 31 January 2019.

The My Health Record is an online summary of your key health information, which can be viewed online, by yourself and any of your health providers. You can manage your My Health Record and even add the details of an advance care plan to such record.

You will be able to set up privacy and security settings to enable or restrict certain people and/or health providers from having access to some or all of your health history and/or any documentation. Importantly, you will be able to see who has accessed your My Health Record.

From an estate planning perspective, the My Health Record is another form of digital asset that you will now need to decide who you give access to on your death.

In addition, if one of your attorneys under a Power of Attorney document has access to your My Health Record and notes that a doctor has stated that you have lost capacity to make decisions for yourself, it may invoke the operation of a Power of Attorney much earlier than it otherwise would have, especially if the extent of your capacity has not yet been fully ascertained.