Estate planning should be viewed as a holistic endeavor. Yes, you have to state your wishes with regard to the way you want your assets to be distributed after you are gone. At the same time, you should also account for end-of-life eventualities.
Many people acknowledge the importance of these matters, but they feel as though it will become a factor when they attain senior citizen status. In reality, people of all ages pass away each and every day. Look no further than the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash for vivid proof of this horrible reality.
Of course, there are people that pass away before their time due to catastrophic illnesses as well accidents. Young adults should definitely take all the right steps in advance, and estate planning is absolutely essential for the parents of dependent children.
Advance Directives for Health Care
You may be willing to accept the above, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Young adults that are in their late teens or early 20s really do not have to be concerned about all of this, right?
In reality, this is not the case at all. When your children are under the age of 18, you have the right to make medical decisions on their behalf. Doctors would be able to speak freely with you about any health care matter that is associated with your children.
This can lull you into a false sense of security even after your child becomes an adult in the eyes of the law. Unfortunately, the assumption that parents will always be able to manage health care choices for their children can yield very negative consequences.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by the United States Congress in 1996, and it was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. Among other things, it prevents doctors from discussing the health conditions of their patients with anyone other than the patient.
Once your child reaches the legal age of adulthood, this law would be applicable. Medical professionals would not be allowed to discuss any health care matters with you if your child is receiving medical care. This is why incapacity planning for young adults is a must.
Your child can execute a HIPAA release to give you the legal right to interact with doctors that are treating the child. The incapacity plan should also include a living will. In this type of will, the person in question could state their preferences regarding the utilization of life-sustaining measures.
Another advance directive that should be part of the plan is a durable power of attorney for health care. This device is used to name an agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the individual that executes it. In the type of case we are looking at here, your child would designate you as the health care agent.
Implement a Young Adult Protection Plan
We have developed a turnkey solution for parents and young adults that are in this situation in the form of our Young Adult Protection Plan. An attorney from our firm can draft the appropriate advance directives for health care along with a HIPAA release.
The documents would be stored electronically in the cloud in the DocuBank database, and your child would be issued an In Case of Emergency (ICE) card that they would keep with them at all times. It would carry a personal identification number and a step-by-step set of instructions for medical personnel to follow.
People at the hospital would be able to access the advance directives for health care and the emergency contact information that has been recorded.
When a family is participating in this program, the health care professionals would be instructed to notify the person that is named as a contact whenever the information is utilized. As a result, you would always be informed if something happens to your child.
Let’s Get Started!
If you are ready to take this vital step, call us at 513-721-1513 to set up a remote consultation. There is also a contact form on this website that you can use if you would prefer to send us a message.