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A few years ago I was having lunch with a friend who told me the story of a horrific experience that she had recently gone through with her twenty-year old daughter while she was in college. My friend had received a call from a hospital informing her that her daughter was involved in a serious life-threatening accident. The caller then asked my friend if she had a Designation of Health Care Surrogate or a Power of Attorney. My friend didn't understand what this had do with her daughter and why they weren't telling her more about what was going on. She was told that HIPAA prevented them from releasing the details of her medical condition since she was over 18 years old. Thankfully by the time my friend drove six hours to the hospital her daughter was conscious, and she was able to find out the details on her condition. As I was listening to this story all I could think of was my daughter who had recently turned 18 and was getting ready to go off to college. What if this happens to her? I had worked in the legal field for almost thirty years and I was shocked to learn that even though my daughter still lived at home and I paid for her medical insurance, she was considered an adult, and I would be powerless to make medical decisions if she was rendered mentally or physically incapacitated. This is something that no parent should ever have to go through! It was then that I did the research and learned that this could be avoided with a couple of simple forms:
A Designation of Health Care Surrogate
Durable General Power of Attorney
A Living Will
I became a legal document preparer and have put my energy into making sure that parents are aware that if the unthinkable happens to their child, they have the necessary forms in place to be the ones to make the medical and financial decisions.
Whether your child is away at college or even lives at home and is over the age of 18, these forms will empower you with the legal authority to make life-impacting decisions if your child becomes incapacitated physically or mentally and unable to make those decisions. Hopefully you will never have to use these forms, but having them will provide peace of mind.
“It was so easy to understand the forms on the website. I am a single dad of two college kids and I was not aware that these forms were needed. I spoke to Dawn and she was extremely helpful. Now both of my kids are protected. I even ordered one for myself and for my mom. The documents were emailed to me the next day. It was quick and easy and I highly recommend. ”
— Vasil T., Naples