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Students Heading To College Need Health Care Powers Of Attorney

Author: Date: 07/16/2020

Categories: Estate Planning and Administration

Young female college student with glasses studying for a test late at night. For those of you with children that have attained their 18th birthday and, especially, for those with children that may be heading off to college in the future, it is important that they have a health care power of attorney (HCPOA) in place.  Young adults are highly susceptible to injuries, illnesses and accidents for which important medical decisions need to be made.  This can be even more challenging when those children are residing far away. 

Health care powers of attorney are used to appoint someone to serve as your designated representative, or agent, to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them yourself.  We typically think of HCPOA’s for adults and, most often, for senior citizens who are prone to accidents, serious illnesses and dementia.   A typical scenario is when the person requiring medical attention is unconscious or dealing with impaired cognition due to medications in their system.  

Upon attaining their 18th birthday, your children are deemed to be adults in the eyes of the law.  At that point, parents do not have an automatic right to step in and make medical decisions for their children if they become incapacitated.  Moreover, in accordance with HIPAA, parents do not necessarily have rights to even access their children’s medical records or receive information from the treating physicians about the child’s medical condition.  

If you have children that fit this profile, speak to them about the necessity of having a HCPOA.  The attorneys at McMillan Metro are experienced and knowledgeable in preparing these documents.  Please contact Ron Lyons at rlyons@mcmillanmetro.com or (301) 251-1180 to discuss how we can assist you in putting a HCPOA in place for your children.