(Editor’s Note: What follows is a recent blog post of Brad Wiewel of the The Wiewel Law Firm)
Even though parents may pay the bills when their child heads off to college they may find they are not entitled to medical information or decisions as the Yuma Sun discusses in “Estate Planning: Helping your college-age child in a medical emergency.”
Once a person turns 18 and becomes a legal adult, they become just like every other adult. No one can have access to their private medical information or make medical decisions for them unless the person says so. This is even true of parents in an emergency. Not understanding this has led to many families having problems.
Fortunately, the way around this problem is relatively easy if you plan ahead. Talk to your child before he or she goes to college about having an estate planning attorney draw up a health care power of attorney. That will allow the parent, or anyone else the child chooses, to have access to medical information and decision making authority should something happen and the child not be able to express his or her wishes.
An estate planning attorney can guide your family through the process.
Reference: Yuma Sun (July 11, 2016) “Estate Planning: Helping your college-age child in a medical emergency.”