The following is an article from the August 2020 issue of "Get Your Ducks in a Row" Carolina Family Estate Planning's Free Newsletter. You can read the rest of the issue, as well as back issues of our newsletter online at www.carolinafep.com/library/newsletters/ or subscribe for free at www.carolinafep.com/newsletter.cfm
We’ve heard from many parents of college-aged children who are nervous about the prospect of their children returning to the college campus in the midst of a pandemic, and who are studying the university's protocols and precautions for keeping everyone safe.
While you’re preparing for… whatever next semester looks like, there’s one more thing you must do: Make sure your young adult child has the proper legal tools in place!
Once your child turns 18, they’re considered to be a legal adult. At that point, your legal responsibility as a parent ends. (Congratulations!) However, you should also know that your legal authority as a parent also ends at age 18. This means no legal authority to conduct financial transactions on their behalf, no legal authority to make healthcare decisions on their behalf, and no legal authority for healthcare providers to share healthcare information with you.
Here’s a story a friend shared: Dana’s son, Andrew, was away at college. Andrew missed his regular, Sunday evening phone call with his parents, so after calling Andrew’s phone and not getting a response, Dana called Andrew’s roommate to check-in. The roommate reported that Andrew hadn’t been feeling well and had gone to the student health center for a check-up. Dana called the student health center only to get stonewalled. Due to HIPAA privacy laws, the health center was prohibited from sharing any information with Dana regarding her son’s healthcare status.
Ultimately all was well and it was a case of the flu, but there were several hours of hand-wringing and worry for Dana and her husband--all of which could have been avoided with the legal tools that make up a Young Adult Power of Attorney (POA) Package.
Here are the 3 key documents we included in our Young Adult POA Package:
- A Durable Power of Attorney to legally document who is authorized to conduct legal and financial transactions on your young adult child’s behalf.
- A Health Care Power of Attorney to legally document who is authorized to make healthcare decisions on your young adult child’s behalf if your child is incapacitated and unable to make their own health care decisions.
- A HIPAA Authorization that tells healthcare providers with whom they may share medical information.
We’ve now made the process of implementing a Young Adult POA package EASIER THAN EVER by bringing it ONLINE!