SOUTHCOAST ESTATE PLANNING BLOG
Most parents don’t realize that their college aged students need their medical wishes protected too. Here’s some surprising news to most parents – when your child turns 18 they become legal adults. That’s right, they are no longer minors in the eyes of the law AND their parents are no longer legally in charge of them.
This means that if something awful happens to a college kid, (i.e., a bad car wreck, an accident on or off campus at a party, a trip to the hospital) and they cannot communicate for themselves, then there’s no one who is legally entitled to find out medical information, to make medical or legal decisions, to talk to insurance companies or to find out other information about them.
Bottom line: if something happens to a college student, their family is shut out of the process and the only way to be able to make decisions is to go through the time and expense of the Probate Court.
Yet there’s a simple way to avoid this: put in place one of the most important legal documents that a young adult needs: a Healthcare Proxy. Far too many people assume that their families would make the choices they would want in an emergency. But it’s not enough for young adults to just tell their parents about their wishes. Instead, they need to clearly document their preferences in legally executed documents. The truth is most young adults will need the help of a trusted person in medical or legal emergencies. But to do that, it is critical that they choose someone to make legal and medical decisions for them before they are ever caught in a position where they cannot.
National Healthcare Decisions Day is on April 16th and it’s an important reminder for every adult, young or old, to appoint someone to make medical decisions and possible end-of-life care choices. So in honor of National Health Care Decisions Day, we encourage all families with young adults to legally nominate someone to make difficult medical decisions for them when they are not able to.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about healthcare directives, talk to your attorney and get something in writing before an unforeseen emergency strikes. If you don’t have an attorney and would like to schedule a meeting with Attorney Andrew Garcia of SouthCoast Estate Planning, just fill out the “Contact Form” on our website.
This April 16th let your young adults’ voices be heard, even if they can’t speak for themselves.