Once your child reaches 18 years of age, he or she is considered to be an adult under the law. Many parents do not realize that this means that they will now need written authority to make medical or financial decisions on their young adult’s behalf. This may include the simplest things such as requesting your child’s immunization records to more serious decisions such as the appropriate medical treatment when your child is involved in a serious accident. This is true, even if your child is still in high school!
If your young adult will be receiving his or her high school diploma soon or turning 18 in the next year, below are three documents you should strongly consider having drafted and signed:
Advance Health Care Directive. Although nobody wants to think about anything bad happening to their child, it is important for your young adult to appoint a parent (or another loved one) to be their health care agent. This grants authority to the appointed individual to make medical decisions if your child is in a condition where they can’t make their own decisions, or if you just want to take them to the Doctor or hospital. It can also set forth his or her wishes regarding long-term care or the use of life support if he or she is left in a permanent vegetative state or is dying.
HIPAA Forms. To ensure that you can confer with your child’s doctors and other medical staff, your young adult should sign HIPAA forms. An Advanced Health Care Directive also accomplishes this.
Power of Attorney. Your young adult may encounter an emergency in which you will want the ability to access his or her bank accounts or to otherwise be able to act financially for him or her. Having a financial power of attorney gives you this power.
As your child progresses in life and begins to accumulate possessions and wealth, it is imperative that he or she create an estate plan. Even a modest estate should be protected and we can help your young adult determine what strategy is best for his or her situation.
Sending your adult child out into the world can be difficult, but having the proper documentation in place can provide you with the peace of mind that you can be there and have the authority to help if needed.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.