Most parents don’t realize that once your son/daughter turns 18, parents no longer have access to their medical records or have the ability to make any medical decisions on behalf of their child. The same is true for their finances, they become private. Here is an unimaginable example, your son/daughter is away at college and is involved in a severe car accident and is unconscious in the hospital. You call the hospital to speak to the physician/nurse to find out your son/daughter’s condition and you are told “Sorry, due to HIPPA, I am not authorized to provide you with your son/daughter’s medical condition.” This would be a parent’s worst nightmare.
There are critical documents that your child may want to consider signing when reaching the age of 18 to have incase the unthinkable happens. Whether you child is away at college or even lives at home and is over the age of 18 these forms will allow the parent to handle the medical and financial decisions if their child becomes incapacitated.
A Designation of Health Care Surrogate
Durable General Power of Attorney
A Living Will
Hopefully you will never have to use these forms but having these forms will provide peace of mind. Here are the answers to many of your questions below.