Why do young adults, as early as 18, need estate planning? And why should it be a priority for you and them? Here’s why: the minute a person turns 18, they become legal adults and you, the parent, no longer have the legal authority to make decisions for them. And you don’t have legal access to their financial accounts.
With you no longer in charge, your young adult could become incredibly vulnerable. For example if they encounter an illness that renders them incapacitated, such as COVID-19, having a plan in place could literally save their lives.
Medical Power of Attorney
Medical Power of Attorney is an advance directive that allows your adult child to grant you (or someone else if they prefer) the legal authority to make healthcare decisions if they become incapacitated or cannot make healthcare decisions.
Without it, you may have to petition the court to get access to your adult child’s medical records if she or he has a serious injury or illness. This could cost you important time and money during a time that you need to focus on your child’s well-being.
A properly drafted Medical Power of Attorney will include a HIPPA release providing you the ability to immediately access records and make an informed healthcare decision for your son or daughter.
Living Will is an advance directive that provides specific guidance about medical decisions, particularly at end of life.
For example, your adult child’s Living Will allows your child to specify whether or not he or she wants life support removed if they ever need it. Additionally, it may specify who may visit in the hospital and whether or not they want nourishment and hydration. It is important to note, for example, if your child is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free or takes specific supplements.
Durable Financial Power of Attorney
Durable Financial Power of Attorney gives you the ability to manage your adult child’s financial affairs should he or she become incapacitated and unable to manage financial matters. Without this document, you will likely need to petition the court, just to pay your child’s expenses.
Truest Law, when Peace of Mind Matters Most
It’s normal to experience anxiety as your child individuates and becomes an adult. Living during a pandemic may even intensify your anxiety as you send them off to college or other adventures. While you cannot prevent unforeseen illness or injury, you can have the peace of mind to know that you have the legal authority to help your child if she or he needs it.
This article is a service of Truest Law. We don’t just draft documents, we help you make informed and empowered decisions for you and your family. Connect with us at Truestlaw.com or 480-949-6500. We would love to schedule a session to help you get started.