Now that your child is an adult, there are some legal documents you’ll need to put in place to ensure they’re taken care of if something happens and they are unable to care for themselves. Here’s a rundown of the four most important documents:
- Health Power of Attorney
- Finance Power of Attorney Documents
- HIPAA Release
- FERPA Release
Here’s a more detailed look at each one:
Health Power of Attorney – no one wants to have to make serious medical decisions for their children. It’s important, however, to have the authority to make these health care decisions if your child becomes incapacitated. Choices like who provides your child’s care or even end-of-life decisions can become increasingly complicated if you do not have the legal authority to do so. A health power of attorney gives YOU this authority and helps to avoid court-appointed guardians for your child.
Finance Power of Attorney Documents – as parents, we know that turning 18 doesn’t turn on a switch of financial responsibility. Having a financial power of attorney will allow you the legal authority to manage student loans and financial aid, interact with landlords and insurance companies, manage bank and investment accounts, deal with credit cards and creditors, and to carry out financial tasks for a child who is traveling, deployed or just plain busy in college!
HIPAA Release – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – Having this release allows health care providers to share medical information about your child. This includes refilling prescriptions, making appointments and necessary follow-up procedures. It also allows you the information needed to make the best medical decisions for your children……just like you did for the first 18 years of their lives. A HIPAA release is designed to cover all health care providers.
FERPA Release – The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act – Having this release allows educational institutions to release educational records to parents or guardians. Much like medical records, Federal law protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. This release is important if you intend to hold expectations of student success as you support your student financially through their college years.
While no one likes to think about the “what ifs” in life, these legal documents will help ensure your child is taken care of – no matter what.
Just like doctors specialize in areas of medical care, lawyers specialize in different types of legal matters. At Wilkerson, Jones & Wilkerson, our goal is to fight for you when accidents of all types happen. We also feel like it’s our job to share resources with you in our local legal community. While we don’t specialize in the aforementioned documents, we would gladly recommend our friends at The Estate Preservation Law Firm in Rock Hill, SC to care for these important needs.