By: Blake Hinson
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Preparing Your Child for College: Establishing a Medical Power of Attorney for Your Adult Child
Like many of you who are dealing with all sorts of uncertainties related to the Covid-19 pandemic, many parents are also dealing with the regular fears and worries that accompany sending their child off to college for the first time.
There are certain things that any parent who is getting ready to send their child off to college needs to keep in mind. In addition to the packing lists and living essentials, we also need to keep in mind that our children are now legal adults. The legal protections that were in place when they were minor children are not necessarily in place now that they are adults.
One of the things that we recommend to anyone who has a child, 18 years or older, is to establish a Medical Power of Attorney.
What is a Medical Power of Attorney?
The Medical Power of Attorney will authorize whoever is appointed the child’s agent, usually a mom or dad, to make medical decisions in the event that they are not able to make medical decisions for themselves. Many parents are surprised to realize that if their child goes off to college and becomes sick and can no longer make medical decisions for themselves, they do not automatically get to make those decisions simply because they are their parents. So it’s very important that if you do have a child 18 years or older that you have a Medical Power of Attorney in place.
Another form that we recommend getting for your child before they go off to college is a blanket HIPAA form. This form will grant you access to your child’s medical information any time you may need it.
The final document that we would consider recommending, considering your circumstances, is a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney. If you have a teenager that has come into money when they turned 18, perhaps through a trust from a grandparent or anything of considerable size, we also recommend that you get a Statutory Power of Attorney which will allow you to make financial decisions for your child in the event that they cannot make those decisions for themselves. It works a lot like the Medical Power of Attorney but for things like bank accounts and brokerage accounts.
A Time to Review Your Own Estate Planning Documents
Lastly, is it time for you to reevaluate your own Estate Planning documents? You may consider reviewing your own affairs after putting together these documents for your children. As life changes and children get older, you may consider looking over your own documents to see if anything needs to be changed.
Do you have an adult child that needs to establish a Medical Power of Attorney? Complete this form and someone from our team will get in touch with you! Do you need to reevaluate your own Estate Planning affairs? The attorneys at Harris Cook can help. Contact our office at (817) 275-8765 to get the counsel you need.