Legal Documents For Young Adults
Once your child turns 18, you lose the ability to make decisions for them and the right to basic informational knowledge. Finding out you can’t see your son’s or daughter’s college grades without their permission is a frustrating thing to learn. Even more frustrating, is learning you have no authority when it comes to a medical emergency. You may even have to go to court to be granted the right to information about your child’s medical condition, have access to their financial records and accounts, or make decisions about their treatment.
There are some legal documents that allow anyone who is 18 or older to grant someone else the ability to make medical and financial decisions on their behalf, if they are unable to do so themselves. The person that is selected needs to be someone the young adult knows, trusts, and feels comfortable having candid discussions with.
These documents are not expensive to prepare. Everyone who is 18 or older should have them. The most important documents to have when you are engaged in estate planning for young adults are listed below.
In the Event of Incapacity
* A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. This document gives another person the legal authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so for yourself. This includes life and death decisions.
* A Durable Financial Power of Attorney.This document gives another person legal authority to manage your assets. A “durable” power of attorney remains valid through incapacity unlike a traditional power of attorney which ends at incapacity.
* HIPAA Authorizations. This document gives your doctors permission to discuss your medical situation with your family members and other loved ones.
In the Event of Death
Most young adults do not have substantial or complicated assets that need to be managed, so a simple will is typically all that is needed. It will let the young adult lay out instructions for who will receive what in the event of their death. If these arrangements are not made, state laws will mandate who receives their belongings, which may not be aligned with their wishes.
After the Documents Have Been Signed
It is a good idea to get all of your assets and information organized. Consider making a list of all of your accounts and passwords, and putting it away somewhere safe. It is important for the designated person to be able find and access your accounts and information in the event of your passing.
Get In Touch
If you think your young adult would benefit from the preparation of these documents, give us a call to set up a free consultation. It is a great idea to set up an appointment shortly after your child’s 18th birthday. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to call us.