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Imagine you get a call one night and learn that your 18 year old child has been seriously injured and important medical decisions have to be made immediately.  However, you find out that as a parent or guardian, the hospital cannot release information to you on your child’s condition and cannot confirm whether your child is patient in the hospital unless there is a signed Power of Attorney or HIPAA waiver.  

Once a child turns 18, they are considered an adult and their health information and school records are now private and protected. This means that the hospital and school are restricted in what information can be released to you, the parent. In fact, colleges will often warn parents of incoming freshman that they cannot share information with the parents regarding grades, bills, or medical emergencies, unless there is consent from the child.

Without a legal document that gives parents legal rights with regard to financial and healthcare matters, information sharing and decision making cannot be done.  Having a power of attorney in place will give parents the power to act on behalf of their child when time is of the essence.

Here at Woolcock Patton we help families anticipate and deal with these problems before they arise.  Call now for a free consultation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/01/your-money/when-a-child-legally-becomes-an-adult.html