If you have a child who is nearing age 18, there’s a good chance you’re still helping them with most of their healthcare and other planning decisions, especially if they live at home. But this big birthday is about more than someone being considered a legal adult. Having access to your children’s medical information does not continue past the 18th birthday without specific planning in place.
Turning 18 is an important milestone in someone’s life for many different reasons, but one is often overlooked. When a child turns 18, they are the only ones entitled to receive medical information about themselves unless separate documents exist to give parents access. This can all too easily come up for an adult child who is hurt in an accident or one who gets sick at school because parents will not automatically be eligible to stay informed about the child’s condition.
A health care directive names someone else to make medical decisions for the creator of the document and also spells out the person’s individual wishes that they would like made. This can be especially important if your 18 year old is unable to speak for themselves. A HIPAA form is also recommended because every adult needs one of these in place authorizing medical personnel to provide information to the parties you have named, such as parents.
Speaking with an estate planning attorney can help you to ensure that these documents get put in place. Contact our Needham, or Mashpee, MA estate planning office for help understanding some of the most important documents to put into place for your young adult.