Legal documents to be prepared by parents when their kids with special needs turn 18 were the subject of guest blogger Kathy Guzzo’s series earlier this year. (Part 1: The Importance of Attorney and Medical Authorizations and Part 2: The Importance of Power of Attorney for Property) But an article at the Chicago Daily Herald website that explained the importance of having similar legal documents for typical kids, really opened my eyes.
Legal Documents Needed
The attorney interviewed for the article suggests preparing the following documents:
- Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care – with appropriate HIPPA provisions
- Durable Powers of Attorney for Property – to ensure that you have the legal right to obtain information and make decisions for your child if their child becomes incapacitated
- In Case of Emergency (ICE) Card – lists the names of all approved emergency contacts, health insurance information and all known allergies
Legal Document Purpose
The attorney explains why legal documents are needed once our children reach legal adulthood. “Privacy laws can prevent parents from getting the necessary medical information or speaking with the doctor, let alone making medical decisions for their adult children…Without these documents in place, parents could be helpless spectators of the child’s care if they are incapacitated and unable to speak for themselves.”
The second half of the article explains what other documents should be in place for adult children with special needs. The list is very similar to what Kathy Guzzo listed in her series and in my book, Different Dream Parenting. You can read the entire Chicago Daily Herald article at this link: Your Teenager Is Now an Adult, but What Does That Really Mean?
What Do You Think?
I never thought about making sure those papers were in place when my kids turned 18. Thankfully we never needed them, but I shudder to think what would have happened in case of a medical emergency. How about you? What did you have in place for both your special needs and typical children when they turned 18. Please leave a comment.