“It's the big day. You've taught your child everything he knows from how to tie a knot to how to knot a tie.”
Your kid's now an adult, ready to head to college and start a new adventure. But businessinsavannah.com's article, “College-bound children need critical financial, health documents,” asks, “What if you find out that one of those adventures results in a stay in the hospital?”
Legally, you're not allowed to help him. Why not?
Many state privacy laws don't let parents make healthcare or financial decisions for their adult children. It doesn't matter if you're paying their college tuition and health insurance, your hands are legally tied. To solve this issue, you can have legal documents prepared that will allow you to continue in your guardianship role.
Two important documents are an advance directive for healthcare and a durable power of attorney to assign you or another trusted adult as your child's representative. Without these, your child could be incapacitated and alone in a hospital or financially stranded somewhere. You could be required to petition a judge to let you help your child.
Two other forms that can help with your child's care are a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) form and an In Case of Emergency (ICE) card. The pre-signed HIPAA form lets you immediately access your child's medical records, and an ICE card that can fit in a wallet will have all of his or her approved emergency contacts, health insurance info and known allergies.
You'll sleep better knowing that in case of an emergency, you'll be able to help your kid.