For parents it is sometimes easy to forget that once their child turns 18 in Texas, their babies are adults and, as if by magic, they are responsible for making their own decisions. Parents may still be very much involved in their child's life, but they now no longer have legal authority to act on their behalf. This is where estate planning comes can be important.
Then you get the bill a month or so later. $3,000 that should be covered by insurance. Now the fun begins. You call the insurance company to try and straighten out this mess, only to be told that you aren't the patient or legal guardian and they can't get or give you any information. However, with a signed HIPPA Release, appointment of Medical Power of Attorney Agent, and a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney, your child authorizes you to act on his or her behalf so that you can communicate directly with the insurance company and hospital.
The Medical Power of Attorney also allows you to to make medical decisions for you child in the event they is unable to do so themselves; while the Statutory Durable Power of attorney allows you to take care of their financial affairs when they are unable do to so themselves. The nice thing about these documents? They are very easy for an attorney to create, and they're cheap too. Add these documents to your list of college prep work, and you'll be glad you did if something happens.