Your child is entering the world of adulthood, so what does that have to do with estate planning? At 18, medical and financial decisions are no longer made by the parents. They are made by your child, alone. So if your child ends up unconscious from a car accident or some other reason, you won’t be able to authorize medical care or access their bank accounts without a court order or a power of attorney.
Here are some things to consider taking care of before you send your kid away to college:
● A HIPAA Authorization: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was designed protect a patient's privacy. Consider having your child signing an authorization so that—just in case—any necessary doctors can talk to you about your child's condition, care, and treatment.
● A Durable Financial Power of Attorney: This is a legal document that allows you to take care of your child's checking or savings accounts, pay bills, etc., if the child's unable to—whether due to illness or even just location (for example, if the school is on the other side of the country).
● A Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare: Like the financial version, this allows you to handle medical decisions for your child, if your child is unable to do so.