As your child moves from childhood to adulthood, having turned 18 and heading off to college or moving out on their own, there is a moment where you realize that you don’t have the access you once had as the parent. Your child may put you down as their emergency contact, but that may not suffice. What if your child is in a car accident and medical personnel won’t provide any information to you? Or your child is incapacitated and you need to be able to make the medical decisions because they cannot give their consent? There are certain medical documents that your child can sign in order to make sure that you can be there if something unexpected happens.
Three Medical Documents Your Adult Child Should Sign: Estate Planning in Wheat Ridge
There are three important forms that your child should sign before they head off to college or take another big step in life:
- HIPAA Authorization Form – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects medical information. The act makes it so medical providers cannot just release information about a patient. This means if your adult child is injured and unresponsive, you will not be given any information. By having a universal HIPAA release signed by your child, you will be able to have access your child’s health status at a time of crisis or emergency.
- Living Will / Advance Care Directive – Living wills and advance care directives are documents that clearly outline what type of medical treatment you want or don’t want in a certain situation. The living will / advance care directive can address topics like who should make medical decisions in case you can’t make them and what extent medical professionals should go through to keep you alive. This document can provide a family with guidance during difficult times.
- Health Care Power of Attorney – This document will identify who is authorized to make your medical decisions if you are unable to do so.
By signing these forms, you will be authorized to make medical decisions and have access to medical information if your child is incapacitated. An experienced estate planning attorney will be able to help draft these documents and explain them to your child. This way, everyone has peace of mind in case the unthinkable occurs.