Your Child is 18…. Now What?
Florida laws say when a child reaches the age of 18, parents and guardians no longer have any authority to make healthcare or legal decisions on their behalf!
If your child becomes incapacitated, either by an illness or accident, a judge must appoint a guardian. You have no rights, under Florida law, to ask for records or grades at their college even though you are their parent and may even be paying their tuition.
PARENTS NEED TO KNOW:
Unless he or she has signed a Designation of Health Care Surrogate that gives you power to make medical decisions for your child during periods of incapacity, you will be unable to make healthcare decisions without resorting to judicial intervention.
If your child is traveling outside the country it will also be much easier to communicate with the local embassy or to wire money from his or her bank if you have been granted Power of Attorney.
You can also help them by signing a lease or contract on their behalf.
The Healthcare Surrogate and Power of Attorney do not have to be delegated to a parent. If, for any reason, relations are strained, another relative or even a family friend may assumethe responsibility.
WHAT PARENTS CAN DO:
Be prepared! Encourage your children to make decisions that can protect them. They may not know that mom and dad might not be able to help them since they’ve turned 18.