Important Legal Documents You Need When Your Child Turns 18

Important Legal Documents You Need When Your Child Turns 18

August 24, 2022

As a parent of an 18-year-old child, you probably have a lot of emotions and concerns regarding their upcoming life changes and decisions. Your child may be heading off to college, enlisting in the army, or moving out of the house. With our help, we can make sure your insurance policies are properly updated, but what would happen if your child experiences a medical emergency?

Yes, your healthcare insurance may still provide coverage for your child, but did you know that you will not have the authority to make legal decisions on their behalf? This includes the ability to access any of their health, education, or financial records. This would leave any parent feeling helpless, especially if your child now lives hours away from home.

You can be proactive now and prepare the appropriate documents, so that you may avoid frustration and hopelessness later. Here are three legal documents you should have once your child turns 18.

  1. Health Care Proxy (HCP) – This is a document that gives a person the authority to make healthcare decisions on behalf of another person when they no longer can do so for themselves. It may also be known as a medical/healthcare power of attorney or attorney for health care. This allows you to have access to their medical status and gives you the ability to speak with their healthcare providers. This document is state-specific and may need to be notarized.
  2. HIPPA Release – This Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act authorization will allow you, or anyone else specified, access to health care information regarding your child. Your teen can restrict what information is disclosed such as information about drugs, sex, mental health, etc.
  3. Durable Power of Attorney (Durable POA) – This legal document grants an agent, such as a parent, the authority to handle legal and financial decisions on your child's behalf when they cannot do it for themselves. This power remains in effect even if the child is incapacitated. With a Durable POA, a parent could access financial accounts, including those at an educational institution, or pay bills.

Remember to check your state laws or speak with a local attorney to ensure these documents are completed correctly.

In an emergency situation involving your child, you don’t want to be left feeling helpless. We hope you will never require the use of these forms, but we know you'll feel better being prepared in case the unfortunate does happen. 

You can visit Associated Insurance Managers at 11111 Katy Freeway, Suite 120, in Houston. They are a full-service insurance agency providing personal and commercial insurance. To learn more about the services offered, email, visit their website at, or contact them at (713) 365-8400.