June 14, 2010
It’s June and that means high school graduations. It also means lots of new adults in our midst. As your child steps into adulthood you might not realize that as a parent you will be unable to help your child with banking or have access to help with their healthcare (even though you may still be paying for it!).
Because your child is a legal adult, HIPAA laws can prevent parents from making medical decisions on their child’s behalf. For that reason, parents of graduating seniors are urged to prepare ICE cards, an Advanced Healthcare Directive and a HIPAA Authorization to ensure they are consulted and actively involved in their child’s care should their child become incapacitated or seriously injured in an accident, or just need help navigating a healthcare claim with the insurance company.
Under current HIPAA laws, parents may be barred from making necessary medical and life-saving decisions on their child’s behalf without such documentation in place. Parents may further find themselves unable to obtain necessary medical records without an Advanced Healthcare Directive.
Most parents assume they can make medical decisions on their child’s behalf until they are legally married, but that is just not the case. The law can prevent parents from getting involved in the care of a child 18 or older without explicit permission through legal documentation.
Parents of graduating seniors need to complete the following documents which give them permission to intervene medically and make life-saving decisions on their child’s behalf:
Without such directives in place, parents could be helpless spectators to their child’s care should they fall into a coma or become unable to speak for themselves. Fortunately, this situation is entirely avoidable.
And as always, make sure your new adult understands that all of these documents will need to be changed as his (and your) life changes . . . as he and those he cares about move, marry, have children, divorce, dies, and so on.
Of course if you need help putting such documents in place for your graduating senior, call me, you’re neighborhood Sacramento Will Lawyer at 916.241-9661 to receive a Peace of Mind Consultation ($750 value) at no charge. However, these appointments are limited to 10 a month so call today!