Q: Can people see my medical records when they use my emergency card?

No. Your healthcare directive or POLST are not your medical records. And the only records that can be retrieved with your Emergency Card are records either you, your attorney, or Directives Online post. You have total control over the documents that you want someone to be able to see in an emergency.

Q: In the event that somebody gets ahold of my Emergency Card, can they see all of my estate or personal documents that I have on file?

No. Those files are placed in your secure vault area, not with your advance or healthcare directives. They are only accessible to people you have chosen to share them with securely.

Q: I don’t want to share all my estate documents with my friends and family—only some of them. What do I do?

You do not have to share any documents you don’t want to share. You determine who gets to see what by inviting individuals to see only the documents you want them to. You can give different people different levels of access to either one, a few, or all of your documents. If you want nothing will be revealed about your assets you've documented with us until after you have passed away.

Q: What is a Digital Executor?

A digital executor is someone you trust to take over all of your accounts after your death to help carry out your wishes. Upon the event of your passing, your Digital Executor must provide us with an official copy of your death certificate, upon which we give them full access to your Directives Online account.

Q: How about all of my online accounts or digital assets?

A. We can’t provide access to those accounts , only you can through proper planning with your Estate Attorney. Access to those accounts is quite complicated and not as easy as leaving behind your Username and Password. You want to discuss the possibility of adding language to your Will or Trust about access to digital assets with an attorney.

Q: How does leaving behind key estate documents help my family or heirs?

A. Estates are often left a mess—and by that we mean while a will and trust might be in place, often key documents can’t be found. Leaving families in a cycle of “I thought you had it?”, “I thought you knew where it was?”, “Isn’t your name on that document too?”, and “ Where is the safe deposit box?”.

Families aren’t always organized. Sometimes they are geographically dispersed and sometimes they just don’t communicate or get along! For these reasons, finding the information needed to settle an estate can get messy and time consuming. Which is why it’s important to consolidate all your key documents in one easy-to-access place, like Directives Online.

Q: How does Directives Online keep my documents safe?

Directives Online uses bank-level security and encryption to protect your documents.

Q: What is ID Theft Patrol?

Identity theft is an enormous problem in the United States. The IRS refunds millions of dollars to phony tax returns that have used stolen identities, often those of deceased individuals. With ID Theft Patrol, Directives Online helps limit your estate’s exposure to this fraud by notifying the major credit reporting agencies and financial institutions of your passing with an official copy of your death certificate provided by your estate.

Q: How will a doctor know to look for my Emergency Card?

Doctors and emergency response professionals are trained to look in your wallet (not your smartphone) for identification, In Case of Emergency (ICE) contacts, and health information if you aren’t capable of providing this information yourself.

FYI: When you check into a hospital, most are required by law to ask if you have advance directives. To save time, give them your Directives Online wallet card so they can retrieve yours and have that information on file.

Q: How long will it take to receive my Emergency Card?

About 10 days.

Q: Do I need an Estate Attorney to use Directives Online?

No, consumers can use our site and sign up without the use of an attorney.

We recommend that you have an attorney review your documents before you save them to your Emergency Card file. Documents such as advance directives, power of attorney, and POLST orders.

Q: What is POLST?

The National POLST Paradigm is an approach to end-of-life planning based on conversations between patients, loved ones, and healthcare professionals designed to ensure that seriously ill or frail patients can choose the treatments they want or do not want and that their wishes are documented and honored.

A POLST order is not an advance directive, nor does it replace naming a healthcare agent or durable power of attorney for healthcare.

Q: How do I add my POLST orders to my Emergency Card?

You or someone in your family gets a signed copy of your POLST orders from your doctor and then logs into your Directives Online account and adds that document to your Emergency Card file. It is just like adding any other document, but it is added to the Emergency Card file (not your Secure Vault) so it can be retrieved by medical professionals.

Q: Who uses Directives Online?

Anyone can use Directives Online. It’s a great service for adults providing care for their parents, for college students attending school outside of their home state, intellectually disabled children and adults, members of the LGBTQ community, seniors, travelers, and physicians’ offices.


1. http://www.polst.org/