Ruggiero Law Blog

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Do your College Age Children have a POA and HIPAA Release?

It is one of the biggest days of your life and theirs. It is the day you finally send your child off to college.  On that day you will probably realize that they aren't a kid anymore, and so will the law.  When your child becomes 18 you are no longer able to access their medical records.  So if they have a drastic accident or illness during their collegiate years, you may not receive communication from medical personnel and will be legally unable to help them.  Medical professionals and hospitals are not required nor are they supposed to disclose any information about your child's situation or treatment.  Many parents are surprised to learn that they do not have the authority to make health decisions on their child's behalf even if the parent is paying for the visit. Do not let yourself get into a predicament like that.  Have your young adult children sign a healthcare power of attorney and designate you as their agent today. A health care power of attorney or health care proxy is a medical power of attorney that allows anyone over the age of 18 to allow another individual access to his or her healthcare records and make medical decisions on the grantor's behalf.

Young adults do not only have this option for healthcare.  There is also a document called a General Durable Power of Attorney. This is a document that allows your child to choose an attorney-in-fact.  An attorney-in-fact is an individual who is allowed to make financial and legal decisions on behalf of another individual if the have the inability to make those decisions.  For example, your child could be studying abroad, but they have to file their tax return.  This would be hard to do halfway around the world, but if your child names you as their attorney-in-fact, you could legally sign and file the tax return on their behalf letting you and your child not worry about the IRS. Getting your young adult children sign a Health Care Proxy and a General Durable Power of Attorney and a HIPAA release is a great way to build responsibility and secure them and you a less stressful road for the years ahead.  Call Ruggiero Law Offices today at 610-889-0288 to schedule an appointment over college break. 

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