This year my father’s oldest grandchild will turn eighteen. It is a momentous occasion that will be fraught with celebration. My niece will soon be an “independent” adult who will make her own decisions and determine her own future.
My niece, like many individuals her age, will be heading off to college. There are many decisions to be made, such as which college she should attend, what her major should be and even what the color scheme of her dorm room should be. One big decision that is often overlooked is who should make her medical and financial decisions if she becomes incapacitated.
Once a child turns eighteen, the parents no longer have the legal authority to make medical decisions or financial decisions for their child. Not all parents and children are aware of this change. Even if your child, who is eighteen, is still on your medical insurance or you are the ones transferring money into their bank account to pay for school, etc, you as a parent do not have the right to make any decisions. This means that if something were to happen to your child and they needed someone to make decisions on their behalf, you would not be permitted to. You also would not be entitled to receive medical information regarding your child due to HIPAA laws and protections. The only way a parent has authority to make such decisions is if the child executes a health care power of attorney and durable power of attorney which names them as the child’s agent.
If you have a loved one who has recently turned eighteen, be proactive and talk to them about creating these power of attorney documents so that they are best protected in the event of an emergency or incapacity. For more information, contact our firm at 888.222.1328.
Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.