Back to School, Back to Basics

It seems like it was not that long ago that we were wondering if spring would ever arrive. All too quickly, and with back-to-school sales in full swing, it is clear that summer is on the wane (high temps and humidity notwithstanding). If you have college-age students, you know very well that college move-in dates and the start of classes are fast approaching.

In the event of a medical emergency or simply the need to attend to the affairs of your student while away at school, parents of young adults may discover that parental status does not equal legal authority. Once your child reaches age 18, medical service providers are not obligated to provide you with protected health information or honor your request for medical treatment – emergency or not. Likewise, you may find yourself unable to take care of simple banking and other “business” type transactions on behalf of your child.

The solution is found in three basic documents: a general durable power of attorney, an authorization for the release of protected health information and a patient advocate designation. A general durable power attorney will allow designated persons to sign documents and exercise authority on behalf of your child. An authorization for the release of protected health information will list the individuals who are permitted to receive information about your child's health. Lastly, a patient advocate designation will name those empowered make medical decisions if your child is not able.

Is your child over the age of 18? Please call us at (248) 477-6300 to speak to one of our estate planners. While our turn-around time for these documents is pretty quick, time is growing short.

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