Why College Students Need Health Care Directives

We are fairly certain the last thing your 18-year-old kid is thinking about is an estate plan.

And you are probably not thinking about one for them either, but you should be. Here’s why: once your child turns 18, you are no longer entitled to know about their medical records or make decisions about their medical treatment.

Can you imagine your child needing medical treatment in some college town and you are not able to help in any way without a court saying you can? It can, and does, happen.

Health Care Directives and HIPAA Waivers

Your adult child should complete a Health Care Directive as well as a HIPAA Waiver (HIPAA refers to the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, the law that makes health records private for those over the age of 18). Your child can designate you, or another trusted friend or family member, as their agent, allowing the agent to have access to medical records and to make health care decisions for them in case they cannot do so themselves.

Durable Power of Attorney

While you’re at it, your child should also complete a Durable Power of Attorney as well. The DPA will give the named agent the right to oversee the child’s finances in case of incapacitation. The DPA could also be effective immediately which could be beneficial if your child is studying out of the country and would like you to be able to assist them with finances.

Hopefully you will never need to use these three documents, but having these necessary protections in place will give you both you and your child peace of mind. We have put these documents in place for many of our clients’ children, whether they are leaving for college out of state or doing volunteer work out of the country.

This article is a service of Jill Gregory, Attorney and Counselor at Law. If you’re ready to begin planning what you and your children would like to happen in case of unfortunate emergency, schedule your Planning Session today. We can help ensure that you won’t be shut out of the care of your child and will be able to continue to assist your adult children in case of an unfortunate emergency.


Schedule A Planning Session

This article is a service of Jill Gregory Law, a Personal Family Lawyer® firm. We don’t just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That’s why we offer a Life and Legacy Planning Session™, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before, and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by clicking the button above or calling our office today at 949-514-8842 or 530-581-5455, to schedule a free 15 Minute Phone Consult with Jill Gregory, or a full Planning Session today. Mention this article to find out how to get this $750 Life and Legacy Planning Session at no charge.

The content is sourced from Personal Family Lawyer® for use by Personal Family Lawyer® firms, a source believed to be providing accurate information. This material was created for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as ERISA, tax, legal, or investment advice. If you are seeking legal advice specific to your needs, such advice services must be obtained on your own separate from this educational material.