Everyone knows that when children turn 18 the law considers them adults that can make decisions on their own. You may not realize, however, that when your child turns 18, you no longer have the authority to know about their medical records or make decisions about their medical treatment.

Can you imagine your child needing medical treatment in some college town and you are not able to help in any way without a court saying you can? It can, and does, happen.

Estate planning for young adults is not something many people think about, but consider having your adult child fill out a health care proxy with a HIPAA release (HIPAA refers to the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, the law that makes health records private for those over the age of 18). On the form, your child can designate you as their agent, allowing you to have access to medical records and to make health care decisions for them in case they cannot do so themselves.

While you’re at it, have your child complete a Durable Power of Attorney too, which will give you the right to oversee their finances in case they are not able to.

Hopefully you will never need to use these three documents, but having these necessary protections in place will give you both peace of mind.

Be one of the first two families to book a Family Wealth Planning Session this month and I’ll create these three legal documents for your child before going off to college as my gift to you plus waive the regular Planning Session fee.