BASSETT, Thursday July 25.  As a local attorney and father, I cannot stress enough how timely (and critical!) this information is. Many young adults in our area will soon be heading off to college or traveling abroad without the three key documents. (Advanced Medical Directive, HIPAA Form and Power of Attorney) they need for mom or dad to oversee their care if they become ill or seriously injured and unable to speak for themselves.

Under current privacy laws, parents may be barred from making necessary medical and life-saving decisions on their child’s behalf without such documentation in place. Parents may further find themselves unable to obtain necessary medical records without an Advanced Health Care Directive and a signed HIPAA form in place.

“Most parents assume they can make decisions on their child’s behalf until they are legally married, but that is just not the case,” says local Certified Elder Law Attorney, Robert W. Haley. “Privacy laws can prevent parents from getting involved in the care or finances of a child 18 or older without explicit permission through legal documentation,” he warns.  Each colege bound student or 18 year old needs:

1.       Advanced Health Care Directive

2.       Financial Power of Attorney

3.       Signed HIPAA Release Form

Finally, to facilitate greater assistance from parents in the event of an emergency, Haley also recommends registering the documents with an online service that will also provide an ICE Card (In Case of Emergency) in the young adult's wallet listing the names of all approved emergency contacts, and making the documents available worldwide. For his clients Haley offers such a service called Legal Vault.

“It’s such a natural instinct to want to jump in and help our children in an emergency. Yet without these documents in place, parents could become helpless spectators of their child’s care and finances if they are incapacitated and unable to speak for themselves,” warns Haley. Fortunately, this situation is entirely avoidable and I advise parents to discuss these critical documents with their children before they leave for college.”

To this end Haley is offering a seminar on Thursday, August 1st at Bassett Country Club at 6:30 PM as well as a seminar on Tuesday, August 20th in Danville (Final Venue & Time Pending) where he will explain the above forms in detail and then offer young adults the opportunity to execute these forms. The cost of the seminar is free and Haley will make the package of forms, and online storage of the documents available for a reasonable fee.

Seating is limited so please register in advance at or call 276-629-5381.