If you have a child who recently graduated from high school, congratulations! That is a huge milestone.

I want to share an important legal tip that may come in handy during an emergency: Now that your son or daughter is 18, you will want to have a Health Care Directive and a Financial Power of Attorney put in place for them. 

A federal law known as HIPAA requires that medical information only be shared with those who are previously authorized in writing to receive it – and that includes family. So once your son or daughter turns 18, you will no longer be able to access their medical information unless authorized in writing ahead of time. This applies even if your children are still covered under your medical insurance. 

Just last week, a friend shared a story of a young man who was seriously injured while visiting some friends at the U of M. The young man’s parents were unable to receive updates about their son.

Also, once your kids turn 18, you may not be able to access their financial information in an emergency either, such as upcoming tuition payments or credit cards payments due.

So in addition to the mini-fridge, the credit card, and the new iPad, make sure that you send your kids off to college this fall with a Health Care Directive and a Financial Power of Attorney authorizing you to help them if needed.

If you have any questions, give us a call at (763) 420-5087. We are happy to help.
Chuck Roulet
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Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, Author, and Speaker