Hello, Fall Semester! The Important Documents You Want Signed before Your College-Bound Child Leaves Home.
By now, your college-aged student has likely told you more than once they are an “adult” who can make their own decisions. But did you know there are legal ramifications to your child’s 18th birthday? It’s important to understand, even though you are the parent, if they are over the age of 18, your ability to access your child’s private information will be limited, even in the event of an accident, illness or emergency situation. Without certain legal documents, you may be left out of important medical decisions concerning your child’s well-being. This applies even if your young adult is on your insurance plan.
So, what are the important documents that your child should sign for their protection and your peace of mind?
- First, you will want HIPAA release authorized. A HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) release allows physicians to share information and your child’s medical records with you. If your child is attending college out of state, it is important to make sure you have a form signed for each state. Each University will likely have its own school HIPAA form for a student to sign as well.
- Second, your child should sign a Florida Designation of Health Care Surrogate. A Florida Designation of Health Care Surrogate enables your child to choose you (their parent) to make all necessary medical decisions on their behalf in the event they become incapacitated. As your child’s Health Care Surrogate, you are given the right to consult with your child’s health care providers and make health care decisions on their behalf.
- Third, your child will want to have a Living Will. A Living Will memorializes your child’s wishes regarding their end-of-life care in the event they have a terminal condition. The Living Will provides you as their Health Care Surrogate with a roadmap of their desires as to end of life care.
- Fourth, your child will want a Durable Power of Attorney. This document enables your child to appoint you as the individual to make decisions on their behalf in the event they become incapacitated or cannot care for themselves. Not to be confused with the Designation of Health Care Surrogate, the Durable Power of Attorney allows you to access bank accounts and credit cards, file a tax return, renew a car registration, etc. should your child become incapacitated.
At Scarnecchia Mullin, we know no parent wants to think of the worst happening to their child. But, if your child is of legal age and the necessary releases are not signed, you will be out of the loop- and that is every parent’s nightmare. If you are the parent of a young adult, contact our Office today and allow us to help you avoid the possibility of that helpless feeling during an emergency situation.