When Your ‘Child Turns 18’ – Get the Legal House in Order-a Daunting Task

Students graduate from high school at 18. Way back when, we did not become adults until the ripe

Students graduate from high school at 18. Way back when, we did not become adults until the ripe age of 21. 21 was when things happened for us. We took over our lives- well, sort of.  That is when we made adulthood decisions, perhaps under the guidance of our parents. Those were the days. At 18, despite the fact that we think our children are still our children and perhaps cannot make as sound decisions and we think, we lose some of our legal parenting privileges. There are a lot of changes at 18, and turning 18… well it is a monumental eye opener for both child and parent. We, as parents (and though my children are solid adults now, when they turned 18, I assumed I still made many of their adult decisions… I wish I knew then what I know now), still need to make some decisions for our 18 year old adults.  

Briefly, you, as a parent need a forms for medical emergencies. Called Healthcare Proxy, or can be referred to as healthcare agent or medical power of attorney, or durable power of attorney for healthcare. Double check with the state your child will reside in for university or job or Gap Year.

HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) Authorization (HIPPA Release)- allowing healthcare providers to disclose health care information to anyone specified. 18 year olds still get sick and need to see a doctor, and hopefully, they will never encounter an accident.

Durable Power of Attorney: engables a designated agent (normally a parent) to make financial decisions on the student’s behalf. This can provide that power immmediately after signing the document or that it vests only if your child becomes incapacitated.

Here are some things you should be aware of when your children turn 18:

  • All males must register for the selective service (if US citizens)
  • When your child(ren) turn 18, you no longer have the power or authority to make healthcare decisions, even if they are covered under your health insurance and even if you are paying the bills
  • Learning the hard way, universities will not give you access to your student’s grades. This is due to the FERPA law. However, you might be able to reverse some of this at the registrar’s office at university- you may not get everything you want, but you will receive more communication (remember, you sign off on FERPA during the application process, so the Letters of Recommendation are confidential, and that is the correct thing to do during the application process).
  • You may not have access to money management for your student once turning 18
  • Your student should register to vote. What a wonderfully pivotal moment for them.

Please read the link below from Grown and Flown with care, and as well, click on the links provided under More Information. The more knowledge you have, the better off you will be in the long run.

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