Your eighteen-year-old son goes on his first college spring break trip to Florida with his college friends. While roading tripping to Florida, he is involved in a car accident and is taken to the hospital unconscious. When you call the hospital, the doctors are not allowed to release any information to you regarding your child’s wellbeing.
Once a child reaches eighteen years old a parent’s legal right to make all medical decisions ends, The eighteen-year-old has the right to make all medical decisions and keep medical information private, from parents. As the parent of an adult child, you cannot contact your son’s college regarding his classes or pay rent for his apartment while he is recovering from the accident.
Absent a power of attorney for your adult child, you may need to request court intervention to obtain guardianship allowing you to make medical and/or financial decisions. This process can be expensive and is the last thing you want to do when your child is in crisis.
Executing a medical power of attorney, HIPAA release, and financial power of attorney, on an adult child’s eighteenth birthday allows everyone involved to have a little piece of mind as roles and responsibilities begin to change. A medical power of attorney allows the holder to make medical decisions. A HIPAA release form allows access to medical records. A durable power of attorney allows financial transactions to communicate with someone other than the adult child.
When signing a medical or financial power of attorney, a parent’s power to make decisions for their adult child can become effective either when a doctor determines the adult child is incapacitated or immediately when signed by the adult child. A doctor will typically pronounce someone incapacitated when the individual cannot make decisions for themselves, including being unconscious. Alternatively, when a medical and durable power of attorney is immediately effective, the parent (or named individual) may immediately make healthcare and financial decisions on the adult child’s behalf. These decisions may include opening a bank account, making doctor’s appointments, determining medical decisions, or purchasing a life insurance policy on the adult child’s behalf.
Rosenblatt Law firm is prepared to handle any question regarding a power of attorney for your adult child. Rosenblatt Law firm can even help you prepare and execute a power of attorney for your beloved child as you navigate this new stage of parenting. At Rosenblatt Law Firm we know the transition from child to adult child can be startling. But sometimes you have to hope for the best and plan for the worst when sending them off into the world.