College Aged Kids and their Medical Records

The holidays are around the corner! If you have children who will be home from college, consider talking to them now about getting a Medical Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney and HIPAA Authorization so that the documents will be ready to execute during their break from school.

Once your child turns 18, they are legally an adult, so you are no longer able to receive information from their doctors, make medical decisions or manage their finances without their permission. At Waldron & Schneider, we have several experienced attorneys who can draft the documents your child needs to appoint an agent to make their medical decisions, receive medical information and assist them with financial issues.

1. Medical Power of Attorney. A Medical Power of Attorney allows your child to appoint an agent to make health care decisions for them if they are unable to make their own medical decisions. For example, if your child is seriously ill or in an accident and temporarily loses consciousness, if they have appointed you as their agent, you will be able to make medical decisions for them until they are able to make their own medical decisions again.

2. HIPAA Authorization. A HIPAA Authorization allows your child to designate the people to whom their medical information may be released. Many doctor’s offices request that new patients sign a similar release, but if your child is being treated in an emergency situation, you will not be able to receive their protected medical information without a HIPAA Authorization which includes you as a designated authorized person.

3. Durable Power of Attorney. A Durable Power of Attorney allows your child to give an agent full power and authority to act in their place and perform any act your child could perform if they were personally present. Unlike the Medical Power of Attorney, this document can go into effect as soon as it is signed, so it can be used whether or not you child is competent to make their own decisions. For example, if your child’s signature is needed on a document in Houston, but they live out of town, you can sign on their behalf if you are designated in their Durable Power of Attorney. Also, as their agent, you can continue to help your child manage their finances, including accessing their funds to pay bills for them if they are incapacitated or otherwise unable to pay their bills themselves.
This is just a general overview, so if you and/or your child are interested in learning more about the uses of these documents and options for customizing them, please call to schedule an appointment with one of the attorneys at Waldron & Schneider.

The legal information in this blog entry is not intended to be a substitute for seeking personalized legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Further, nothing contained in this article is intended to create an attorney-client relationship with any reader. This article and website are made available by Waldron & Schneider for educational purposes only and to give basic information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and Waldron & Schneider. The article and website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. For more information or questions you can contact us and one of our attorneys will be in touch soon.