When your child reaches the age of eighteen, he or she is now entitled to privacy and you no longer have the same level of access to or authority over financial, educational and medical information.
At a minimum, you should take these three steps to ensure you can still protect your adult child:
HIPPA RELEASE. Have your child sign a HIPPA Release form that ensures you can gain access to critical health care information should your child be hospitalized or under medical care. A health care proxy with a HIPAA release would enable your child to designate you or another trusted person to make medical decisions in the event your child is unable to convey his or her wishes.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY. Like medical information, your 18-year-old child’s finances are also private. Having a durable power of attorney in place does not change the access to private financial records unless it is triggered by incapacity. This is a tool that allows you take over if your child is no longer of sound mind. Without it, you will not have access.
For information on some basic estate planning for your child turning 18, contact Stouffer Legal at 443-470-3599 in the Greater Baltimore area. We can help you obtain the documents you need that will provide you access to the right information should that become necessary.
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