This 18th birthday milestone legally notes the transition from minors to official adults, bringing with it major changes in legal status, says NJ Family’s recent article entitled “What You Need to Know (Legally and Medically) On Your Teen’s 18th Birthday.”
Adults—even your 18-year-old— are entitled to privacy rights. This means that anyone not given explicit rights via a power of attorney and HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) release, among other important documents, can be denied info and access—even parents. Here’s what every family should have:
Power of Attorney. A power of attorney (POA) gives an agent (such as you as the parent) the authority to act on behalf of a principal (your adult child) in specific matters stated in the POA.
You can also have a POA for medical decisions ( also called Healthcare Directive or Healthcare Proxy) and one for finances.
HIPAA Release. When kids become legal adults, they have a right to complete health privacy under HIPAA. That means no one can see their information without permission, even you!
Ask your child to sign a HIPAA release form (which is often included along with or inside the medical power of attorney), to let their health providers share relevant information.
Wills. A simple Will is a good idea. It may also be a good time for you to review your estate plan to see how circumstances changed.
Talk with an experienced estate planning attorney about drafting all of the necessary legal documents for your newly-minted legally adult kid.
Reference: NJ Family (Oct. 6, 2021) “What You Need to Know (Legally and Medically) On Your Teen’s 18th Birthday”