- Health Care Advance Directive
- Selective Service Registration
Turning 18 is a big milestone for your teen, socially, but also legally. You might want to consult your financial planner, and if you use one, legal consultant. Consider taxes, insurance, and the big change: health care access.
If your teen become incapacitated in some way after age 18, and has not signed a Delaware-recognized healthcare release form, you might not have any access to your child, their doctors, medical decisions, or status updates, even if you are paying for the insurance and the bill, without these forms signed and in place. So get these things taken care of soon after the 18th birthday!
We at HAND urge you to consult a legal advisor in the use of any forms and planning, as we are not legal advisors, just parents of homeschooled teens sharing what has worked for us, and cannot promise results.
Here is a handy, FREE form provided by the state of Delaware, called an Advanced Healthcare Directive, for your teen to fill out. It must be witnessed by two unrelated people who do not stand to benefit from your teen’s estate; it does not need to be notarized, though that never hurts. The form provides for the teen to designate who can communicate with doctors, help make healthcare decisions, specifies end-of-life decisions, organ donation preferences, and other details most of us would prefer to not think about, but would be better off dealing with before it’s a necessity.
Selective Service Registration is another reality of turning 18, currently (as of June 2019) for males only. It is possible that in the future females will also be required to register with the Selective Service, but not at this time. Most teens will register ahead of time when they sign up for their first driver’s permit– Delaware has a nearly 100% compliance rate with the Selective Service because of the driver’s license signup option– but if that was not done, registration must be completed within 30 days of the 18th birthday. If your child has forgotten to do this, registering as soon as the oversight has been discovered is the best remedy. Failing to register can lead to denial of federal benefits, denial of citizenship to immigrants, and denial of student loans, among other penalties. For more information or to register, head to the website at the link below.
Did you know? Even if your teen has a disability that would disqualify him from serving in the military, he still must register with the Selective Service! Only the armed forces can officially offer an exemption, not Mom and Dad, and failing to register could impact a disabled teen’s ability to get benefits.