Surviving this world as a young, single adult can prove hazardous to your health. Not only do insurance companies charge a premium for auto insurance, but you’re relegated to crummy apartments with non-responsive landlords, loud neighbors, and beer cans in the front yard. You’re struggling to balance school, work, and the multiple demands of authority figures unconvinced of your professional abilities. You don’t have time to consider what might happen if you get hit by the 3:10 bus instead of catching it.
Did you know that Federal privacy laws (specifically HIPAA) strictly control the release of medical information without a signed release from the patient? Now that you’ve turned 18, you will be treated as an adult when it comes to privacy laws. Without the proper authorization, you could find yourself without a parent able to enter the emergency room and speak on your behalf. They may not be able to voice an opinion to Medical personnel regarding treatment options, or even receive an update on your condition. By signing a HIPAA release BEFORE you collide with that bus, your parents can have the immediate ability to communicate with your doctors and insurance providers, reducing stress during an emotional time.
Besides the Health Care Directive and HIPAA Release, you should also consider having a Financial Power of Attorney in place. By granting someone Power of Attorney, you’re saying you trust them enough to act as your “attorney-in-fact” and handle financial matters in your place. A Power of Attorney can provide authority to access bank accounts, pay bills, and apply for social security or government benefits on your behalf. Having a power of attorney may eliminate the need for a court conservator proceeding. Remember that bus? While you’re happily resting in a coma, your attorney-in-fact can pay the rent so you still have a home to return to once you wake up.
Call me at Lewis Kannegieter Law, Ltd. and I’ll walk you through the steps of creating these two documents as efficiently as possible. I understand how important it is to be legally prepared and move on with really living your life (bad neighbors and all). These documents won’t need to be changed unless you choose a new attorney-in-fact or health care contact down the road. With these documents tucked away, you can get back to the business of creating your career and future. It doesn’t take much time. And it doesn’t take a lot of money. But it could make a world of difference. Call us today to schedule your Peace of Mind Strategy Session.