Legal Documents to Have in Place When Your Child Turns 18

As school starts and students start heading off to college and/or their next chapters of life, we want to help you both celebrate and plan ahead! Once your young adult child turns 18 the legal challenges get a bit more complicated.

When a child turns 18, he/she is legally old enough to make his/her own decisions in life, yet in many cases the 18 year old may still be a dependent. What we fail to think of, or don’t want to think of, is what will happen to a son or daughter if they have the misfortune of ending up in the hospital while they are off at college or traveling? Because they are no longer minors, even though they are still dependents, institutions may not accept outside wishes or direction for them.

When Intitutions Withhold Your 18 Year Olds Information

Perhaps your college student is going to college out of state, and needs help setting up classes at a local community college for the summer.  A parent is not permitted access to the 18+ year old’s school schedule unless a Power of Attorney is in place.

Without the Health Care Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), if your son or daughter is taken to the hospital, many hospitals will not tell you if they have your 18+ year old in their facility because it is a “violation of HIPPA”.

Student Legal Packet

To avoid these potential problem, Hammond Law Group attorneys recommend a having a Student Legal Packet for your college student.  The legal documents in this customized package include:

  •  Power of Attorney – Authorizes someone to manage your property.
  • 5 Wishes booklet – Consists of Health Care Directives, which authorizes someone to make health care decisions if you become incapacitated, and states intent as to termination of life support systems if there is a terminal illness.
  • Health Care Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Release Form – Provides release of medical information to people you select.

These legal forms will allow the person named in the documents to make decisions if your child is unable due to incapacity.

Completion of these documents will likely occur in one meeting, if we have the information sheet prior to the meeting.

For More Information

If you would like more information on this matter or would like to schedule your appointment to put these important documents in place, contact our office today.  We look forward to serving your family and friends during these exciting times!

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google