We are fairly certain the last thing your 18-year-old kid is thinking about is an estate plan. And you are probably not thinking about one for them either, but you should be. Here’s why: once your child turns 18, you are no longer entitled to know about their medical records or make decisions about their medical treatment.
Can you imagine your child needing medical treatment in some college town and you are not able to help in any way without a court saying you can? It can, and does, happen.
What you need to do is have your adult child fill out a health care proxy with a HIPAA release (HIPAA refers to the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, the law that makes health records private for those over the age of 18). On the form, your child can designate you as their agent, allowing you to have access to medical records and to make health care decisions for them in case they cannot do so themselves.
While you’re at it, have your child complete a Durable Power of Attorney as well, which will give you the right to oversee their finances in case of incapacitation.
Hopefully you will never need to use these three documents, but having these necessary protections in place will give you both peace of mind.
This article is a service of Bridge Law LLP. We are an award-winning law firm that specializes in business and estate planning for clients like you. The goal for every family is to stay educated on all topics like this, avoid probate, avoid estate taxes, and build a legacy for you and your loved ones. What sets our firm apart is that we build lasting, lifelong relationships with our clients. They rely on us to keep them updated, provide sound legal counsel, and be there for them immediately if any problems should ever arise. The best part is we don’t charge hourly fees to our families, so you never have to worry about speaking to us. If you’re ready to keep your family out of Court, contact us today to schedule an initial consultation or visit our website at www.bridgelawllp.com.