In the eyes of the law, things change when your child turns 18. As a legal adult, your child assumes rights previously held by you, the parent. While they are, in most cases, still dependent on parental support, it is important that you understand the law and have the proper documentation in place.
Healthcare Power of Attorney –
Adult children can be included on the family insurance policy until age 26, but your access to medical information is limited by HIPAA privacy rules.
What happens if there is an accident?
If a young adult is in an accident and becomes disabled, even temporarily, a parent might need court approval to act on his or her behalf if there is no Healthcare Power of Attorney in place.
This document allows someone (usually the parent) to make medical decisions on behalf of the adult child and grants access to medical records.
Make sure forms in each state are filled out.
If a student attends college out of state, you must fill out the forms relevant to Texas as well as forms for the state where they are attending college to avoid any challenges. If the school has its own form, sign that one too.
Financial Power of Attorney –
Consider obtaining a Financial Power of Attorney if you are not on a joint account with your child. Even in an emergency situation, you will not be able to access the accounts or financial information without the Power of Attorney.
Education Information –
As a legal adult, your child assumes responsibility for their educational rights. Grades, schedules, financial accounts cannot be accessed without the student’s permission. Additionally, college representatives are prohibited from discussing information about the student’s academic record with parents.
Most colleges have a waiver form which students can sign allowing records to be released to parents or college representatives, such as faculty members, to discuss records with parents. Your student may, or may not, wish to sign this release.