Now that graduation season is behind us, we have some important information for parents of young adults who are going off to college or starting their first job. Once your child turns 18, he or she is automatically an “adult” in the eyes of the law, no matter how immature or inexperienced. Being an adult comes with the right to manage your assets (including opening credit cards and taking out loans) and make decisions about your life (such as where to live, who to socialize with, and whether you want medical treatment). As you might imagine, this silent leap into full adulthood can cause some nasty surprises down the road.
For example, parents have no legal right to medical information for an adult child. That means that your child’s doctors don’t have to talk to you, even in an emergency situation. The same goes for anyone that your child signed a contract with, including for a credit card or an apartment lease (unless you are a co-signer).
Fortunately, your child can give you continued access to medical and financial information, and even some decision-making authority, with a few simple documents:
1. a Designation of Health Care Surrogate naming someone (usually one or both parents) to make medical decisions if he is not able;
2. a HIPAA Release designating any persons who he would like to have access to his medical records and doctors; and
3. a Power of Attorney, if he would like to name a trusted person (again usually one or both parents) to have access to and power over his finances.
We are currently offering a “back to school” special: we will provide the documents listed above for a flat fee of $295 for the first child and $195 for each additional child in the same family. Call us today to get in before summer is over!