Estate Planning attorney Erik Hartstrom goes on to explain why your college age child needs both an Advance Health Care Directive and a Durable Power of Attorney:
It may be hard to think of your college bound child as an adult, but legally his medical information is protected, and it may be difficult or even illegal for medical providers to share information with you in case something happens to your child.
When congress passed The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in 1996 (HIPAA) one of their goals was to protect patient privacy. Because the penalties for violating the rule can be steep, doctors and hospital administrators are very cautious when releasing medical information. As a parent that can present a very frustrating and frightening situation in an hospital emergency room. Your child may not be in a position to give consent, and you don’t have time to go get a court order (an “emergency”
To avoid all of that, your child (now adult) should prepare an Advance Health Care Directive to appoint the person they want to represent them if they are unable to speak for themselves.
The second document is called a Durable Power of Attorney, and it gives the appointed agent the ability to handle all financial matters. While most college age children don’t have a lot to manage, the Power of Attorney can be a good safeguard against the potential devastating impact of an even that leaves them incapacitated. It can save you thousands by avoiding the need to obtain a conservatorship of the estate.
Erik Hartstrom is an authority on estate planning, creating wills, trusts, and other documents to help his clients create a lasting legacy. His practical style and focus on client education have resulted in national attention. He is often featured in Life Health Pro, a publication which attracts top financial experts across the country. Erik’s expertise has been featured in the media across California and nationally, including the San Francisco Chronicle, and Good Day Sacramento.
Erik is passionate about his mission: “I help families prepare for the future. Parents can keep their children out of probate court.” Contact information for Erik is available at his website, http://www.estateplanpros.com