Your child is an adult now and might be living away from home for the first time. It is important for your child to sign powers of attorney and HIPAA authorization documents in case something happens and they need someone - usually a parent - to act on their behalf.
If your adult child becomes incapacitated in the future without a General Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, and HIPAA authorization in place, you may be forced to go through court legal proceedings to have your child declared incompetent and to have a judge select a legal guardian for them.
- By signing a General Durable Power of Attorney, your adult child can designate you or other trusted people to act on their behalf if they are ever unable to manage their own affairs. This type of power of attorney can be useful if you help your child manage their banking, insurance payments, tuition payments, etc.
- If your adult child signs a Health Care Power of Attorney, sometimes called an Advance Health Care Directive, it can make it easier for you or other trusted people to make medical decisions for your child if they are ever in a situation where they are unable to make their own decisions.
- If your adult child would like to authorize you or another trusted person to discuss their health care, health insurance, treatments, etc. with a health care provider or insurer, they must sign a HIPAA authorization. If they do not sign a HIPAA authorization, privacy regulations prohibit their health care providers from sharing information regarding their protected health information (PHI) with others.