April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. This is the time to sit down and make firm decisions on the level of care you want to receive if you are temporarily or permanently incapacitated. It’s also the perfect time to discuss this with your college-age child. You don’t want to think about the possibility of your child being hurt, but you must be ready if it happens. If your child is injured, they need the correct paperwork to allow you to make medical decisions for them when they can’t.
Before your kids head to college in the fall, make sure they have a healthcare directive and medical power of attorney.
Once your child turns 18 years old, they are considered a legal adult. This means they are legally free to make their own decisions in financial, legal and medical situations. You will not automatically have access to their information, such as:
This also means that if your child is injured or incapacitated due to mental or physical problems, you will not have the ability to make medical decisions for them. But working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help you prepare your child for emergencies.
You can help your child prepare for medical emergencies by making sure you understand their medical wishes. You can also make sure you are able to work with their healthcare team if necessary. A healthcare directive and medical power of attorney will allow you to still care for your child’s medical needs.
A healthcare directive is a legal document that tells the doctor your child’s wishes concerning specific medical issues. This can include life support, feeding tubes, ventilators and if your child requests certain situations for a Do Not Resuscitate.
This durable power of attorney can be written to become active if your child becomes incapacitated. It will allow you to make medical decisions on their behalf and let you talk to the doctors talk about your child’s care and treatment.
Protecting your family and providing peace of mind for your family members can be achieved with expert guidance from our estate planning attorneys. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group in Illinois today at 630-864-5835.
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