Do you think an 18-year-old is too young for an estate planning attorney? Think again! Recently, I discussed 5 Legal Documents to Protect Your Adult Child and the legal documents that can protect your adult child while also respecting their rights in case of a medical or legal emergency. Did you know that if your adult child is injured or ill, the HIPAA Privacy Rule can prevent doctors from discussing information if your college-age child has a medical emergency? The Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA, protects the privacy of people over the age of 18 – even if your child is on your insurance policy and you are paying the medical bills! Your child can authorize their medical team to talk to you – but unfortunately, sometimes an injury can prevent your child from signing documents.
To protect your adult child while they’re in school or just starting out on their own, it’s critical that you have your 18 years old sign these two documents.
1. HIPPA Authorization
A health privacy rule authorization signed by your 18-year-old lets them authorize you to have access to their medical information BEFORE a medical emergency occurs. A HIPPA authorization does not require witnesses or a notary. If your child is concerned about their privacy, they can stipulate what medical issues are covered and which are not covered, such as sex-related health care issues.
2. Medical or Durable Power of Attorney
A health care power of attorney allows your child to name a parent as their agent to make medical decisions that they are unable to make and communicate decisions at a later date, including withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures. The Medical POA also allows the agent to choose whether to donate organs and to make burial arrangements.
A durable power of attorney is more encompassing and will give you legal and financial rights to the information you need to assist your child, which might be useful if a student is studying abroad, traveling or taking a gap year.
Protecting your college-age child in a medical emergency and providing peace of mind for your family can be achieved with expert guidance from the estate planning attorneys at Estate & Probate Legal Group in Illinois today at 630-800-0112.