With many recent high school graduates preparing to go off to college, parents may begin to grow concerned about their children’s ability to take responsibility and go out on their own. Although most graduates are legal adults when they leave the house, many of them are not ready to take on the responsibilities that come with being an adult. Many students entering college will still rely on their parents for financial and emotional support and will continue to use their parents’ health care insurance for their medical needs.
Although most parents will continue to support their child during the college years, parents of children 18 years and older are surprised to learn that they have no legal rights to make medical or financial decisions for their children. Once a child reaches adulthood, parents cannot make the medical decisions they once did, nor can they make decisions regarding their child’s bank account. There is, however, a way around this. Your child can give you written permission to make these choices and decisions by executing a durable power of attorney and/or a health care proxy. By creating these documents, your child will be giving you the power to keep making important decisions during formative years.