Parents, DID YOU KNOW that when your son or daughter turns 18 you lose all rights and decision-making authority over his or her health and financial matters? If you have a young adult child moving away to start college or a job (or still living in your basement…), give your child and yourself the gift of a Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney. In these documents, your child can name you as his or her agent for health and financial matters which will give you full decision-making rights, as well as the ability to access the child’s medical and financial records.
What is a Health Care Directive?
A Health Care Directive (often referred to as a “Living Will”) is a written document that enables a person to direct in advance what kind of health care he or she wants or does not want in the event the person cannot communicate these decisions without assistance. Usually, the primary purpose of a Health Care Directive or Living Will is to express a person’s desire not to receive life-sustaining treatment if the person is in a terminal condition or in a persistent state of unconsciousness under which recovery is highly unlikely. Some states recognize separate Health Care Powers of Attorney and Living Wills. Other states combine these documents into a single Health Care Directive.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) limits who can access a person’s medical information. HIPAA imposes penalties on doctors and other health care providers who make unauthorized disclosures of “protected health information” about their patients. Under HIPAA rules, health care providers cannot talk about (or otherwise disclose information about) your adult child’s medical condition to anyone including family members. While these restrictions are designed to maintain privacy, they can interfere with your ability to act on behalf of your child in the event of an emergency.
What is a Financial Power of Attorney?
A Financial Power of Attorney is a written document that enables an individual (referred to as the “principal”) to designate another person or persons as “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” to act on the principal’s behalf with respect to financial matters. By naming you as agent, your adult child gives you the ability to manage your child’s financial affairs in the event of an emergency.
WillsbyWaybridge Is Your Answer
WillsbyWaybridge makes creating your child’s Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney simple, convenient, and affordable. Select the Power of Attorney Package for Individual on the Our Products page, register and complete the short client interview, and then we will prepare and send the documents out for signing. Remember that these documents must be signed by your child, so be sure to get this important protection in place before he or she heads off into the world.