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June 15, 2022

You’ve raised your child, protected and guided them through life, and now they are packing up and ready to start their life as a college student. From living away from home for the first time to making new friends and creating a new social circle, there are going to be so many things they need to adjust to. Luckily, you have already taught them what they need to know to navigate these situations. Yet, you likely have not discussed estate planning. Although your child will always be a child, they may be an adult in the eyes of the law.  In the United States, the legal age of the majority is 18 which means by this age you’re considered an adult.  Why is this important to you as the parent? Once your child is an adult by law, they have a new right to privacy which may prevent you from getting information regarding health or even assisting with financial affairs.  Let’s take a closer look at how estate planning may be able to assist in these areas.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney is an arrangement whereby a person appoints another to act on their behalf in during a time in need.  It’s important to note that a durable power of attorney may be used in both a time of incapacity but also during times when you are 100% healthy.  This particular document is useful for parents who want to take care of their child’s finances, assist with bill pay, sign documents on their behalf and more.

What is a Health Care Surrogate?

We all know that “life happens.”  We may get sick from time to time and, of course, we could get into an accident or become disabled.  With your child being far from home, should a medical emergency arise, you want the ability to get information on their well-being immediately.  Being an adult means they now enjoy a right to privacy, which is why you as their parent may run into a delay in trying to obtain information on their behalf. A health care surrogate designation will allow your child to list either your or someone else they choose to be their “surrogate.” The health care surrogate is essentially their voice in a time of medical emergency. The health care surrogate can review information on their behalf, receive updates, make decisions and more.

Why Do I Need a HIPAA Authorization?

The HIPAA release form is used to authorize a third-party individual to access your medical history. If your child were to create this document, it would allow for the surrogate they list to access medical records which is important when making an informed medical decision.

How The Legacy Law Firm Can Help

Our attorney has been helping clients for almost ten years with creating plans that are tailored to accomplish their goals.  She offers a complimentary consultation to ensure we are a good fit for you and that you are understand your options.  Give us a call today to schedule your strategy session – we are happy to help.