It’s mother’s day and I’m thinking about the fact that my daughter goes to college soon. She also turns eighteen years old in November, and, in addition to the new camera she thinks that she wants for a present, I’m going to surprise her with something else–a Durable Power of Attorney and Authorization for Release of Confidential Health Care Information. I guess that’s what comes from being a mom and an estate planner. But once my daughter (and your children, too) turn eighteen, doctors are not going to release confidential health care information about them to you without the consent of your child.
By signing a Durable Power of Attorney your child can name you as an Agent to take care of his or her financial matters if they become incapacitated, and by signing an Authorization for Release of Confidential Health Care Information they are giving doctors permission to answer your questions should your child become ill or injured.
I am fully aware that my daughter would prefer the camera, and would prefer, honestly, not to have to think about the fact that turning eighteen is a big deal, legally, but pretending like she’s not growing up isn’t going to be sufficient if she ends up in the hospital and I can’t find out why.