Your child's eighteenth birthday marks an exciting milestone of “officially” becoming an adult! For many young adults, there is no better plan than to move away from home, kick start a career, enroll in college, or begin a journey of self-discovery. One task that should be on every young adult’s “to-do list” is to put Powers of Attorney and Health Care Surrogate documents in place before heading out into the world. Here is what you need to know about these important legal documents.
Health Care Directives & Solutions
The day before someone turns 18, parents or guardians can make many of their decisions. The day after that person is an “adult,” and parents can no longer access that child’s medical or financial information. For health care, this means that in a medical emergency, parents can’t automatically receive information or make decisions about their child’s care.
In less extreme situations, such as if the child is sick and seeking medical treatment from a walk-in-clinic, parents cannot communicate with the medical facility to get even an update. Yet, an advance directive called a Health Care Surrogate Designation and HIPPA release can overcome these obstacles.
For a young adult, it can be scary and unsettling to find yourself sick in the hospital and, for the first time in your life, without the guidance of your parents or trusted adult. By executing advance directives, young adults can obtain peace of mind for themselves and all involved.
A designated Health Care Surrogate can communicate directly with medical professionals and make important decisions when needed. This allows for help in an emergency and can be a comfort for young adults as well as their parents.
Power of Attorney
When it comes to finances after that 18th birthday, parents can no longer communicate about protected information with institutions such as schools, banks, and housing complexes, even if the parent has financial responsibility!
Whether it be for a young adult traveling out of the country or for an unexpected accident, a Durable Power of Attorney can allow another person access to handle property and/or financial transactions. A Durable Power of Attorney can give the power and permission to someone you trust to handle your money-based matters under certain circumstances.
While turning 18 may legally make one an adult, I know firsthand that there were several issues I faced that were “over-my-head” and where I needed help from a wise parent, grandparent, or trusted advisor. Giving them access through a Durable Power of Attorney made a big difference for me.
While some young adults have good relationships with their parents, others may not. People don’t have to name their parents, only a trusted adult. We believe it’s important to discuss the options with an attorney before making a final decision.
Draft a Will
Finally, for a young adult, this may be a good time to establish a first Will. Just like starting other healthy habits, such as eating a balanced diet and getting regular physical exercise, it is wise to have estate planning documents in place early on, and then to update your plan throughout life. Your documents should be updated to grow with you, to fit your lifestyle, and to provide continued peace of mind.
Ask about Our Firm’s Young Adult Plan
We at Hill & Kinsella believe in the importance of the Young Adult Plan, which is why we are offering a highly discounted 2020 Young Adult Special to those ages 18 to 24 years old. This special is available for a limited time, so if you or someone in your life can benefit from this peace of mind, please reach out to us to schedule a phone appointment!
Give us a call at (727) 240-2350 today to request your consultation with one of our friendly legal professionals.