Health Care Power of Attorney for Adult Children

Orange County estate planning attorney

Once your children are over the age of eighteen, you no longer have the legal right to make medical decisions on their behalf. This can leave them vulnerable in the event of an accident. An Orange County estate planning attorney can help you plan for the worst.

Estate planning is one of the most important ways you can protect your family and prepare for worst-case scenarios.

Power of attorney (POA) allows you the ability to make vital decisions about your children’s healthcare, finances, and more, should they ever become incapacitated. Having a POA for your adult children is an excellent way to make sure that you can help care for them and make the right medical decisions if it’s ever necessary. 

What is a Power of Attorney?

Power of attorney is a legal document that designates someone who will act on behalf of another person, known as the principal. It comes into play if the principal becomes incapacitated and needs someone to make essential legal, financial, or medical decisions for them. This person is called the agent.

The role of the power of attorney often goes into effect when a person is dealing with serious medical issues and is unable to communicate and make decisions on their own. This includes both temporary medical concerns and permanent ones. 

It can also become active if the principal isn’t able to be physically present to sign documents, or is unable to make legal and medical decisions for another reason. 

A power of attorney can end for several reasons, including if the principal decides to end the agreement. A court can also terminate the agreement, and in some cases, the agent may not be able to fulfill the role any longer and will step down from the role.

Types of Power of Attorney

General Power of Attorney

This gives the agent the ability to make decisions on legal, financial, and medical matters. That includes paying bills using the principal’s bank account, managing assets, and filing taxes. This role allows you to maintain your child’s affairs and avoid messy legal or financial situations that could arise while your child is incapacitated.

Financial Power of Attorney

This is limited to financial concerns such as paying bills and managing your child’s business concerns. Your unique power of attorney agreement will specify the details of the situation and make clear your child’s wishes. 

Health Care Power of Attorney

This allows you to make medical decisions on behalf of another person. When someone grants you health care power of attorney, you become legally responsible for their medical care decisions. 

The health care power of attorney involves talking with the principal’s doctors, weighing the pros and cons of different medical procedures, and end-of-life care. It’s a very important, sensitive role, and it makes sense that a child would give this responsibility to a trusted parent.

How Can Having Power of Attorney Protect Your Adult Children?

Without power of attorney, you have no legal right to make decisions for your adult children, even if they are unable to make decisions on their own. In fact, your children have the right to privacy regarding their medical information. 

Doctors aren’t legally allowed to reveal private medical information without your child’s consent, and an incapacitated child cannot grant one. This is why it’s essential to get that permission beforehand in the form of power of attorney documents or a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release.

Health care power of attorney grants you the right to participate in your child’s medical care and advocate for them. This means you can fight for better health care or have a say when determining the best course of action for treatment. 

During a medical emergency, concerns like bills, loan payments, and rent may seem far away. However, depending on the type of medical issues and the length of your child’s incapacitation, they can quickly become a problem. 

If you are legally appointed to handle these bills and other financial concerns, you can keep things running smoothly, preventing a legal or financial nightmare once your child recovers.

How Can You Get Power of Attorney?

The role of power of attorney is a powerful one, which is why you need valid legal documentation to take on this role. You’ll need your child’s consent and this is an excellent opportunity to talk frankly about estate planning and medical concerns. 

A probate attorney in Orange County has the legal expertise to help you fill out documents accurately and in a way that reflects your child’s wishes. Many of the forms need to be notarized and signed in front of a witness, and you can get personalized legal advice for your situation. 

When you fill out the forms, your child can specify limits to the power of attorney agreement and outline their medical care preferences. Over the years, you may want to update these forms to make sure that they reflect your child’s current health care wishes.

It’s important to remember that estate planning is a family affair. Just as you want to care for your children, they will also want to have a say in your medical care. You can have a family conversation about end-of-life care and medical care preferences, including power of attorney for your children.

Secure Your Child’s Future with a Power of Attorney

It may not seem like a priority if your child is healthy, young, and thriving, but estate planning can give you peace of mind. Your relationship with your children doesn’t end once they turn eighteen, and these documents will help you care for them if they ever face severe medical issues. 

We focus on estate planning and helping our clients find solutions to their concerns. We will make sure that you have a plan in place to protect your children, even as they become adults. To schedule a consultation with our attorney, contact us at Parker Law Offices today!

Maria Parker assists her clients plan for their end of life health care wishes and the ultimate distribution of their wealth after death. She personally experienced the importance of planning at the time her father passed away.

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Estate Planning Attorney in Orange County, CA
Wills & Trusts, Estate & Trust Administration, Probate, and Health Care Power of Attorney
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