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Has your son or daughter turned 18 and graduated high school? Guess what? They are now an adult.
There is a lot to think about when your child becomes an adult. Even though he or she may still be living under your roof and 100% dependent on you, legally, your child will be signing forms and making decisions on their own. If your son or daughter is away from home, and a medical emergency occurs and your son or daughter is unable to make medical decisions on their own, a completed Healthcare Power of Attorney document will allow you to act on his or her behalf.
Let’s say that your daughter, an 18-year-old freshman at a college on the opposite end of the country, is unconscious in the hospital following an accident. If she has signed a Healthcare Power of Attorney naming you as her “attorney-in-fact/agent,” you will have the ability to view her medical records and make informed medical decisions on her behalf. Without this document or a court-appointed guardianship, healthcare decisions concerning your daughter’s diagnosis and treatment will be solely in the hands of healthcare providers. While this is not always a bad thing, a physician’s primary duty is to keep the patient alive. So, a healthcare provider might not pursue a risky or experimental course of treatment at the risk of exposure to liability.
Only one attorney-in-fact should be appointed at a time. However, you can appoint one or more backup health care agents that can act in the event the first health care agent is unable to act as health care agent. So, your child could appoint you as their health care agent and appoint your spouse as their backup or successor health care agent.
Recognizing this important milestone, and keeping our client’s needs in mind, we are offering to prepare Medical Power of Attorney documents for anyone between the ages of 18 and 21. If you are interested in this offer, and live in Southeast Iowa, you can fill out the form at this link.