By Sabrina Winters
Will your graduating senior be protected without 3 important legal documents?
As a local attorney, I can't stress enough how timely (and critical!) this information is for your audience. Many young adults in our area will soon be heading off to college or traveling abroad without the 3 key documents
(Advance Health Care Directive, HIPAA Form and Financial Power of
Attorney) they need for mom or dad to oversee their care if they become
ill or seriously injured and unable to speak for themselves.
As a legal adult, privacy laws can prevent parents from making
medical decisions on their child's behalf. For that reason, parents of
graduating seniors are urged to help their child prepare HIPAA forms, a
Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Care Directive to ensure they are consulted should their child become incapacitated or seriously injured in an accident.
Charlotte: As graduating seniors prepare to travel abroad or leave
for college, parents are urged to help their children prepare HIPAA
forms, a power-of-attorney and an Advance Health Care Directive to
ensure they are consulted and actively involved in their child's care
should they become seriously ill or incapacitated in an accident.
Under current privacy 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 Advance
Health Care Directive and signed HIPAA form in place.
"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, "
says Charlotte estate planning
lawyer, Sabrina Winters. "The law can prevent parents from getting
involved in the care of a child 18 or older without explicit permission
through legal documentation," she warns.
For that reason, Winters urges parents of graduating seniors to help
their child complete the following 3 documents which give them
permission to intervene medically and make life-saving decisions on
their child's behalf:
1. Advance Health Care Directive-
This document allows a young adult to appoint someone they trust (the
parent) to be their health care agent should they wind up in a coma or
become otherwise incapacitated in a serious accident. It also specifies
the type of long-term care or life support the child would want should
they become incapacitated or left in a permanent vegetative state.
2. Financial Power of Attorney-
Having a financial power of attorney is necessary to give someone
(preferably the parents) permission to access any bank accounts
and act financially on the adult child's behalf if an emergency
occurs. Such activities covered under the power of attorney include paying bills, buying or selling assets, applying for social
security or other government benefits and the opening and closing of accounts.
3. Signed HIPAA Form-
Parents should have their adult child pre-sign a HIPPA form to ensure
they can immediately communicate with physicians and access
important medical records.
Finally, to facilitate greater assistance from parents in the event
of an emergency, Winters also recommends keeping an ICE Card (In Case Of
Emergency) in the child's wallet listing the names of all approved
emergency contacts, health insurance information and all known
"It's such a natural instinct to want to jump in and help our
children in an emergency. Yet without these documents in place, parents
could be helpless spectators of their child's care if they are
incapacitated and unable to speak for themselves," warns Winters.
Fortunately, this situation is entirely avoidable and I advise parents
to protect their child with these critical documents before summer
begins," says Winters.
For more information on the 3 legal documents every graduating senior
needs to ensure their parents can intervene medically on their behalf
or for more information on Charlotte estate planning lawyer, Sabrina Winters, please call 704-843-1446 or visit www.ncestateplanninginfo.com.
. . . .
Explore the LEXIS.com Estates, Gifts & Trusts and Elder Law resources
Discover the features and benefits of LexisNexis® Tax Center
For more information about LexisNexis products and
solutions connect with us through our corporate