Your child has graduated high school and is getting ready to move on to their next chapter after their last summer. Perhaps they’re off to college. Maybe they’re ready to start their career, or they’re taking an opportunity to travel before making their next move. It’s an exciting time for parents and, perhaps, an opportunity to step back, let your child truly experience independence, and really let them take on the world. But first…
Did you know that once your child turns 18, you can no longer gain access to their medical records? Or have access to their financial institutions? Did you know you can no longer make important medical decisions for them in the event they’ve been in a serious accident?
It’s imperative that you have a Durable Power of Attorney, Advanced Health Care Directive, and HIPAA authorization for your “adult.”
The Power of Attorney grants the agent (person named in the document) legal and financial powers in the event the grantor is incapacitated and cannot handle their affairs. Not surprisingly, the Advanced Health Care Directive grants the agent powers regarding health care decisions (which are typically also laid out in the document.) The HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) authorization form allows the named individuals to access someone’s medical records and/or bills.
These documents are typically associated with estate planning and “older people.” But when you consider that accidents account for the hospitalization of a quarter million young adults ages 18-25 every year, there’s no denying their importance. Without the proper documentation in place, even getting an update on an adult child’s medical status can be impossible.
Amidst the fun of shopping for dorm rooms and taking road trips, please spend time discussing these important legal documents with your child.
Sending our kids into the world is stressful enough. Gain some peace of mind by ensuring these documents are in place. We’re offering these three documents for $400, or complimentary with your comprehensive estate plan, now through the end of September. Please contact us today!
Holly Ratzlaff is an attorney and partner at Voorhees & Ratzlaff Law Group, LLP