Once your child turns 18, their health information can no longer be released to you or anyone under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This is where the HIPAA Authorization comes in. This document allows your child’s medical team to provide information to the individuals named in the document. Imagine a situation in which your child was in an accident while away at college. Without HIPAA Authorization, the information the doctors could provide you would be extremely limited, and you would have no access to their medical records. A HIPAA Authorization is an incredibly important document for anyone, especially for a young adult heading off to college.
While a HIPAA Authorization authorizes trusted individuals to access your child’s medical records, a Health Care Proxy grants the named “Health Care Agents” the ability to make medical decisions on your child’s behalf. This document does not become active until your child is physically or mentally incapable of making medical decisions. A properly drafted Health Care Proxy saves you from the expensive and lengthy legal process of petitioning the probate court to obtain guardianship rights over your child to act on their behalf.
Durable Power of Attorney
College students often have limited experience managing their finances, and having a Durable Power of Attorney allows them to appoint a trusted person, like a parent or family member, to handle financial matters on their behalf. The Durable Power of Attorney comes into effect the moment it is signed, granting those named in the document the ability to handle their non-medical affairs. This helps to ensure that bills are paid on time, financial transactions are managed responsibly, and overall financial well-being is taken care of, especially if the student is away from home for an extended period.