If so, it is time for your child to do Advanced Directives. An Advance Directive gives a person (called an agent) a voice at a time when he or she is not able to do so. There are Advance Directives for health care decision-making (health care proxies and HIPAA Authorizations) and for financial decision-making (powers of attorney).
Without a health care proxy and HIPPA release, if your child gets sick or is in an accident while away from home, you would likely not be able to get medical information about him or her, nor would his or her doctor be able to speak with you – even though you are the parent! Your child’s Heath Care Proxy appoints someone to make medical decisions if your child is unable to make medical decisions for himself/herself. A HIPPA Authorization authorizes you to speak with the doctor of your 18-year-old even if your child is able to make decisions (you get to be a second set of ears).
And last, but not least, we recommend your 18-year-old execute a living will. A living will doesn’t designate authority to an agent, but it permits your child to describe what kind of health care decisions your child would want if he or she becomes unable to make his/her own decisions regarding health and medical treatment. We have two basic versions of the living will: “please stop treating if there is NO hope of recovery” and “treat treat treat”.
Please contact us for more information about these documents (and all other estate planning options), and to assist your child in preparing and executing these important documents.