Many parents and children don’t know about the legal changes that come with turning 18. Once a child turns 18, parents can no longer make legal decisions, including medical choices for their children. Another thing parents cannot do is get access to protected information about their children, including medical documents and school information. After the child turns 18, the parent must obtain written consent from the child to access any of this information. Unfortunately, there is no simple or consolidated way to get their permission for everything.
There are four essential documents a parent will need, especially if their child goes to college.
These documents are a Health Care Power of Attorney, a HIPAA Authorization, a Living Will Declaration, and a Financial Power of Attorney.
A Health Care Power of Attorney allows the parent to make medical decisions on behalf of their child and is vital in a situation where your child is ill or incapacitated.
Along with the health care power of attorney, a HIPAA authorization is crucial because it allows the release of the child’s medical information to the parent.
A great way to navigate what the child would want in a medical crisis is to have a living will declaration. This document would allow the child to dictate what they want to be done in a medical emergency, should they be unable to speak for themselves.
Last on our list is the financial power of attorney. This gives the parent access to the child’s financial information. Should the child be incapacitated, the parent would have access to their financials to continue paying bills on behalf of the child. You can make the parent’s access either temporary or permanent.
Seeing our kids leave for college is such a beautiful and scary time. And no one prepares you for the changes. To keep both child and parent’s minds at ease, you should ensure you have all four documents before entering the adult world.