- Wednesday, 07 August 2019 22:25
As college students head back to college, I wanted to remind parents that their college bound children should have a set of documents in place so the parents can access their medical info and make medical decisions if something terrible were to happen to their student. Once the child is 18, the child is in charge of their own decisions and hospitals do not automatically defer to the parents’ decisions.
Students should have a health care power of attorney, HIPAA release, living will, and financial power of attorney. I prepare the set of documents for a reduced fee of $150.
Parents are on their own in trying to access their child’s grades and tuition bills.
Pic is from Jack’s first day at OSU last year.
- Wednesday, 29 August 2018 10:02
Alyssa Gilderhus was 18 years old when she suffered a ruptured aneurysm. She was given a 2% chance of survival when she arrived at the Mayo Clinic. Miraculously, she survived and was transferred to the Mayo’s rehab section. Her mother soon became disenchanted with her care and requested that various personnel not attend to her daughter while voicing her displeasure on Facebook posts in all caps. She eventually asked for a transfer to a different hospital.
The Mayo Clinic refused the transfer request alleging that Alyssa could not make decisions for herself. The hospital also sought guardianship of the patient. Frustrated, Alyssa’s family engaged in a cloak and dagger move with Alyssa escaping the hospital and fleeing Minnesota so she could not be returned to the hospital.
A South Dakota hospital saw Alyssa and prescribed medication and sent her home. Alyssa graduated from high school this year after being named Prom Queen.
One point, one plug, and one comment.
1. When she turned 18, Alyssa should have executed a health care power of attorney and a HIPAA Release so her mom could access her health care records and legally make medical decisions for her during her incapacity.
2. I always advise my clients to have their children execute those documents when they turn 18 and definitely before leaving for college. My fee is $150.
3. I would tend to follow the advice of doctors at the Mayo Clinic over those at a rural South Dakota hospital. But if a mother who posts on Facebook in all caps with exclamation points wants to follow different advice for her daughter’s care, she, not a social worker, should have the right to make that decision.
Photo Credit: Engebretson family
License: Fair Use/Education
- Monday, 19 June 2017 17:17
Otto Warmbier is the Cincinnatian who was held captive by North Korea for 17 months for allegedly trying to steal a propaganda sign on a college visit. While starting to serve a 15 year sentence of hard labor, he was beaten so severely that he suffered a brain injury and returned home Tuesday night in a coma. Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center have described his condition as “unresponsive wakefulness.”
One small legal point:
1. Once a child turns 18, I encourage parents to have their child sign a health care power of attorney, living will, and HIPAA Release so the parents can access their child’s medical records and make medical decisions for them. Without those documents, the parents might be stymied in making decisions in the best interest of their child.
2. This story breaks my heart. No snark here out of respect for Otto and his parents. Tell your child you love him/her tonight.
Photo Credit: Christopher Oquendo for dailymail.com
License: Fair Use/Education
- Tuesday, 28 July 2015 09:19
Now that Bobbi Kristina Brown has died after six months in a coma, let’s revisit what will happen to her estate and her mother’s estate, while also covering what she should have done differently. To recap, Bobbi Kristina was a month shy of 19 years old when Whitney died. Whitney’s 1993 will created a trust solely for the benefit of Bobbi Kristina. The trust distributed 10% of Whitney’s estate to Bobbi Kristina when she was 21 with the remainder to be distributed at the ages of 25 and 30. Bobbi Kristina received approximately $2 million on her 21st birthday. After Bobbi Kristina was found unconscious, her father (Bobby Brown) and grandmother (Cissy Houston) made her medical decisions for her somewhat contentiously.
What should have happened?
1. Whitney should have provided that her estate be distributed to her daughter at an age later than 21. I never draft trusts with such a young age for principal distribution.
2. When Bobbi Kristina received her first distribution from her trust, she should have created a will of her own which would have enabled her to leave her $2 million to her “husband”/adopted “brother”, Nick Gordon.
3. Upon turning 18, Bobbi Kristina should have executed a health care power of attorney, living will, HIPAA release, and financial power of attorney designating a specific family member to handle her affairs if she were disabled. I always recommend this for my clients whose children are heading off to college.
4. None of this was done. Of course, I doubt that basic estate planning was a priority for a family prone to alcohol and drug use while bathing.