Why do College Students and Unmarried Adults need Healthcare Powers of Attorney in Michigan?

When people start having families, start getting older, or diagnosed with an illness, they often consult with a lawyer to have them draft Powers of Attorney for Healthcare.  It makes sense because there is a distinct possibility that they might need to use it.  Hopefully they never have to use the document, but if they do, then the family is glad that its in place.  So what about your 18 year old who is going to college or your 25 year old single child who lives in another city, do they need one too? The answer for many people is yes.

Why does my college student need a healthcare power of attorney in Michigan? 

Just like our older population, no one knows when a younger person will go to the hospital.  Often times these are unexpected situations that people don’t plan for like car accidents, illnesses, or being a youth and doing silly things that lead to injury.  Healthcare Powers of Attorney help you have the documentation in place just in case the unexpected happens.

What happens if an adult child is hospitalized?

If the student or unmarried adult child becomes sick or injured and can’t make medical decisions for themselves, then the adult child is on their own because they are an adult.  The hospital can’t legally give out information about the child’s status.  The hospital can only inform the next of kin that they have to come to the hospital, but no personal information like what happened, their diagnosis, prognosis, or the information you want.  This puts the hospital and families in an uncomfortable and scary situation.  Once a person reaches the age of majority, when they turn 18, then they are responsible for themselves.  You, as a parent, have no say anymore.

What is my college aged student goes to school outside of Michigan?

These legal documents are drafted in Michigan and are legally binding.  When a student moves away from Michigan, they can bring the document with them.  I include a paragraph that asks the jurisdiction follows the wishes in the Power of Attorney even if they use different terms in their state.  For instance in Michigan a person is called a healthcare advocate, meanwhile in other states the same person can be called a personal representative for healthcare among other titles.  Most states and hospitals honor legally binding documents from other states.

How do I create a Healthcare Power of Attorney for my college aged child?

Many people hire a lawyer to draft this document.  It doesn’t take a long time or a lot of money to do. The biggest advantage is that you are having a custom tailored legal document created specifically for your situation as opposed to a legal document you print off the internet that you don’t understand.  The last thing you need to know is that your child is the one giving you permission to their medical information so they have to approve, consent, and agree to the Healthcare Power of Attorney so you better ask nicely.

If you have college aged children in Michigan, then call me for a complementary consultation.  I will answer your questions and help you understand your options so that you can make an informed decision on whether a Healthcare Power of Attorney makes sense for you.  I can be reached at (734) 887-6079.