Away at college—kids can: get seriously ill or be in an accident
If your child is over age 18, he or she is an ADULT in the eyes of the law. Accordingly, parents lose the legal power to act on behalf of their own child, unless the child has given legal written authorization to them. If your child were to become very ill, suffer some disability or pass away, you do not want to become a participant in a conservatorship or probate proceeding concerning your child. Nobody wants to incur the time, expense, or emotional toll that these proceedings will command.
The GOOD NEWS is that it’s easy to circumvent court intervention should any of these life events happen, but only if your child executes these 3 essential legal documents:
- SIMPLE WILL
Your legally adult child is the only person who can direct who is to receive the child’s personal belongings, car, bank accounts or digital property. Without this will, the state laws of intestacy will dictate the recipients.
- DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEY
If your child was to become temporarily or permanently incapacitated (illness, memory loss, injury) there needs to be a person legally appointed to act on behalf of your child both financially and medically. A properly drafted Durable Power of Attorney over Finances will allow your child to say who that person will be (generally the parent) to make any financial decisions, apply for public benefits, or sign tax returns.
For medical decisions, a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (aka Advance Health Care Directive) states your child’s direction on life support, the administration of nutrition and hydration, and donation of body parts/organs as well as appoint the person(s) to legally carry out this intent.
Without Durable Powers of Attorney a court conservatorship is instituted.
The medical privacy laws known as “HIPAA” do not permit medical personnel to disclose medical information about you without your written authorization. If your child becomes temporarily unable to sign his/her name, then there will be no HIPAA release and the parents may be left in the dark at a time when they desperately need to receive medical information about their child. A signed HIPAA document alleviates this problem. There have been numerous reports of college nurses who refuse to talk with parents because the child was unable to sign a HIPAA form. You don’t want to be in this position.
So to protect your child and yourself from life events that can, and do, occur every school year, these 3 essentials are a MUST.
To help families, our firm offers a 20% discount so this protection can take place NOW. Like insurance, until you have these documents in place, there is no coverage.
At Family Security Law Group, APC, our estate planning attorneys look forward to working with you and bringing your family “Legal” Peace of Mind, contact us today at (805) 409-0108.