HoganWillig

We Practice Law for Your Peace of Mind

College Bound? Get Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy for your student!

Author: Linda Grear


August 14th, 2014

If you have children getting ready for college, you should consider having them prepare Durable General Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy documents.

From a practical perspective, you may be paying your child’s tuition and housing expenses, as well as covering him/her as a dependent on your health insurance; however, in the eyes of the law, a child is a legal adult at the age of 18 years and is entitled to privacy protections for financial and health care matters.

Under federal privacy rules (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act known as “HIPAA”) medical providers such as doctors, nurses, and hospital staff cannot speak with you regarding an adult patient’s medical condition without the patient’s consent.  In other words, if your child gets sick and requires medical care, medical information cannot be disclosed to you, even though you are the parent, with proper legal authority.

In the event of a medical emergency, parents may want to assure that they have legal authority to get information from their child’s medical providers.  A Health Care Proxy is a legal document that allows a patient to designate an agent to make health care decisions in the event they are unable to speak for themselves.  Additionally, the document may contain a HIPAA authorization to allow doctors and medical providers to release medical information.

A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints an agent to handle personal financial matters and obtain financial information.  There are situations where a Power of Attorney would be useful to collect financial aid or student loan checks payable to the student, handle issues related to financial assistance, and bill paying.  This may be particularly helpful if your student is studying abroad.  If your child runs into issues with his/her passport or the authorities in another country, you can have the authority to help.

Your child may be hesitant to give up privacy rights and may only want you to have access on a need-to-know basis. A family meeting to discuss the pros and cons may be helpful, but, ultimately your child’s decision.  Before your child heads off to college this Fall, sit down and create a plan for handling medical emergencies and other unexpected obstacles.  It will give both parent and child peace of mind.

If you have any questions about the above material, or wish to speak to attorney, please contact HoganWillig, Attorneys at Law at (716)636-7600 or visit www.hoganwillig.com. HoganWillig’s main office is located at 2410 North Forest Road in Amherst, New York with additional offices in Lockport, Lancaster and Buffalo.

Basic Estate Planning Documents

Author: Linda Grear


October 5th, 2012

There are three basic estate planning documents that all individuals should consider when making a life plan strategy. The specific content of each document will depend on personal and family circumstances, but, everyone should consider having the following documents in place:

Last Will and Testament – A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that includes your personal instructions regarding the distributions of your assets upon your death. The preparation of a Will allows you to designate the beneficiaries of your estate. Your Will may also name a person to serve as executor of your estate.

A Will may also name a guardian for any minor children and designate the age when the children will receive their inheritance. Parents of a child with disabilities can also express their preference relative to their child’s future care, education, job training and living arrangements and even establish a trust to supplement governmental benefits received by the disabled child.

Power of Attorney – A Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an agent to make decisions concerning your legal and financial matters in the event you cannot do so for yourself. If something catastrophic happens and you become incapacitated, having a Power of Attorney in place can avoid the alternative of having a Court appoint a guardian, this could take several months and cost several thousand dollars.

Health Care Proxy / Living Will – A Health Care Proxy/Living Will allows you to designate an agent to make health care decisions in the event you are unable to do so yourself. It also allows you to document your wishes concerning treatment in the event you become terminally ill.

The simple act of planning ahead can assure that your personal wishes are followed.

Why Do You Need A Power of Attorney

Author: Hogan Willig


April 27th, 2012

Durable Power of Attorney: A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you appoint an agent to assist you with handling your financial affairs and to make financial decisions on your behalf during your lifetime, either for convenience or in the event you become incompetent or disabled. A Durable Power of Attorney can help avoid the necessity of a costly and protracted guardianship proceeding. A Durable Power of Attorney remains in full effect throughout your lifetime and terminates only upon your death or revocation.

Why do you need a Power of Attorney?

Spring Cleaning? Time to Review Important Estate Planning Documents

Author: Hogan Willig


March 9th, 2011

Issues to Consider When Evaluating the Need for a New or Revised Will / Estate Planning Documents

As spring rolls around and we get ready for warmer weather, our thoughts turn to spring cleaning. Take this time to clean up your current estate planning documents and determine if they need to be revised. It is suggested that your estate planning documents be reviewed every five years to make sure they still comply with your wishes. If any of the categories listed below apply to you, it may be a good idea to embrace the season and make the necessary changes to your Last Will and Testament, Living Will/Health Care Proxy or Power of Attorney documents.

Upcoming Changes to Power of Attorney Documents

Author: Linda Grear


July 31st, 2009

A Power of Attorney is an important document that allows you (“the principal”) to appoint an agent to make decisions concerning your legal and financial matters in the event you are unable to do so for yourself. If you have not executed a Power of Attorney document and you become incapacitated, a guardianship court proceeding will be required to authorize someone to make legal decisions on your behalf. A guardianship proceeding can take several months and cost several thousand dollars to complete. The good news is that creation of a valid Power of Attorney can avoid the necessity of a guardianship proceeding. As such, the execution of a Power of Attorney document is a very important estate planning tool.

Get Your Ducks in a Row

Author: Linda Grear


March 16th, 2009

EVALUATING THE NEED FOR NEW OR REVISED ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS

Given the current state of the world economy and recent local events, many of our clients have expressed a desire get their financial and household business matters in order. There are three basic estate planning documents that all individuals should consider when planning and organizing a life plan strategy, although the specific content of those documents will differ by personal circumstances.

HoganWillig

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