Turning 18 is a wonderful milestone for both children and their parents. It is also a time when a child’s relationship with his or her parents changes under the law.
The law of Ohio and 47 other states says that once a child turns 18, he or she is legally an adult. As an “adult”, a person has the right – and responsibility – to make his or her own decisions in life. The parents’ or guardians’ control over, and legal responsibilities for, a young adult child terminates. And they no longer have unrestricted rights to know what’s going on in the child’s life. The irony of this change in a child’s legal status and new legal independence is that he or she may in reality still be dependent on his or her parents.
Many parents fail to think of – or don’t want to think about – the consequences of their children coming “of age”.
Consider, for example, receiving a call late one night from a hospital near your daughter’s college, asking if you are the parent. You’ll have a thousand questions and may fear the worst. However, the caller will be barred by privacy laws from being totally open with you about your daughter’s medical condition because she is legally an adult, unless she has authorized you to receive that information under the appropriate legal documents presented to the hospital. Without those documents, assuming you can find your way to your child’s hospital bed, what rights do you have to speak to the doctors? To make health care decisions for her? If she does not recover immediately, to handle her financial and legal affairs?
To avoid these potential problems and for the peace of mind of our many clients with young adult children and grandchildren, Zimmer Law Firm has created a Young Adult Protection Plan™, which includes the In Case of Emergency (I.C.E.)™ card from DocuBank, the country’s leading Advance Medical Directive repository.
Here’s how the I.C.E. card works. We provide DocuBank with copies of your child’s HIPAA Release, Health Care Power of Attorney, and Living Will, which they store in their secure online system. Your child receives a card for her wallet issued by DocuBank with her member number, Personal ID Number, step-by-step directions for hospitals to use the card, and emergency contact information (you, the parent). The card may also include vital medical information such as allergies and other medical conditions.
The card provides hospital personnel immediate access to your child’s HIPAA release on file with DocuBank, which permits them to give you medical information about your child’s condition. Here’s perhaps the most significant feature of the I.C.E. card: DocuBank automatically contacts you as soon as the card is used to obtain information or a child’s medical-legal documents –24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You’ll even receive the hospital phone number.
Because we provide DocuBank with copies of your child’s Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will (see below), those documents are also instantly available to a hospital or doctor by fax or over DocuBank’s secure website for immediate download, at any time or place.
Your child doesn’t have to carry papers around – just the I.C.E. card, or even his DocuBank information stored in his cell phone! And if you carry a copy of the card in your wallet or store your child’s DocuBank information in your phone, you, too, can have instant access to your child’s HIPAA release, which allows you to communicate freely with your child’s medical care providers, as well as your child’s other vital medical-legal documents.
In addition to the I.C.E. card, our Young Adult Protection Plan™ includes all the legal documents and medical-legal documents necessary for a parent to see to the child’s medical and legal needs during recovery or incapacity. Those documents are as follows:
- Property Power of Attorney – Authorizes an agent(s) to manage assets and legal affairs for a young adult child if he or she becomes incapacitated.
- Health Care Power of Attorney – Appoints an agent(s) to make health care decisions for a young adult child who is unable to make his or her own decisions.
- Living Will – A child’s declaration of wishes about artificial life support or medical treatment that would only serve to prolong the process of dying, in case of imminent death.
- HIPAA Release – Authorizes parents to receive medical information about a child.
Young Adult Protection Plan™ Special Pricing for Our Clients
As a courtesy to Zimmer Law Firm clients and families, we are offering special pricing for the legal documents and I.C.E. service, as follows:
|Property Power of Attorney (for financial and legal matters)
|Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney
|Extended HIPAA Release
|I.C.E. Card for 5 years
|Less family discount on legal documents
|Less family discount on DocuBank I.C.E.
These are the same quality, in-depth documents that our clients receive as part of their Estate Plans with Zimmer Law Firm. The fees include a conversation with a firm lawyer by phone or email about the decisions the child must make, and either an in-office meeting to sign the documents or delivery of the documents to the child with instructions for signing them.
If you are not a client, we will still be happy to work with you! Our normal fees will apply.
When your child or grandchild turns 18, or as he or she prepares for college – or if you already have children in college or older – contact our office at 513.721.1513 to put these important documents in place and order the DocuBank I.C.E. card.
Add a Young Adult Protection Plan for all your family’s young adults, to assure peace of mind.