Estate Planning for Young Adults
When your child turns eighteen, they are still your “baby”, but in the eyes of the government, they are legally responsible for their choices and actions. This may mean that if they are still in high school you can no longer access their records, or if they go to the doctor, you do not have access to their medical records anymore. As we all know, young adults may not always make the best decisions and may need a little supervision and help as they stumble through their first few years of adulthood.
There are a few ways that this can be accomplished, through a Power of Attorney and a Healthcare Directive (Medical Power of Attorney). There are many different types of Power of Attorney and each can be used for different things. For our purposes here, we will use a Durable Power of Attorney as a reference. Depending on the exact language in the document, you will be able to handle financial matters for your child. This could be for dealing with the often hard-to-reach Financial Aid office at their university or maybe set them up with a credit card for emergency purposes. You will be able to guide them along the correct path, instead of them stumbling around opening credit cards at basketball games with horrible interest rates.
A Healthcare Directive, or Medical Power of Attorney, allows you to continue to make healthcare decisions if your child becomes incapacitated. Failure to have this document could mean a lengthy process to petition the court for guardianship. In 2017, I was the Medical Power of Attorney for my father when he had complications during surgery. Because of this, I was able to make quick decisions that ultimately allowed him to keep most of his leg.
For any questions regarding Estate Planning, whether that be for your young adult or yourself, please reach out to the Professionals at The Center for Financial, Legal, & Tax Planning Inc. at (618) 997-3436.