We all think of our children as kids no matter their age, but hospitals and banks see things different. When a child becomes 18 years of age they technically, no matter how we feel, become an adult. This means a parent can no longer assist with banking or receive medical information.
I recently had a client whose 17 year child was having medical issues. He was in constant contact with doctors, receiving test results and confirming appointments with no issue. Shortly after his son's 18th birthday he called the doctor for some test results. Promptly he was told they were unable to disclose the information because is son was an adult. "But you told me last week," he urged, but to no avail.
We quickly drafted Powers of Attorney which included the following;
1) A Durable Power of Attorney- this states who could handle the son's financial affairs
2) A Patient Advocate Designation (Living Will) - this states who could make medical decisions for the son if he was unable to do so on his own
3) A HIPAA Privacy Release - this document allows the son to name anyone, in any order to receive his private medical information.
The documents were executed, and order was restored. My client was again able to seamlessly assist his son with treatment and coordinate with doctors.
These are simple and effective Estate Planning tools that can have a big impact on you and your "kids" in the event something goes wrong.