3 Legal Documents Every Young Adult Needs
When a child reaches the age of 18, they are considered a legal adult. What does this mean for parents of young adults? This means that parents have no legal control over the decisions that are made by the young adult.
These 3 legal documents are extremely important for every young adult to have when they turn 18 years old:
- Power of Attorney – Finance
- Power of Attorney – Health
- Healthcare Authorization
Without these documents in place, a parent has no authority to make health care decisions or manage money for their child. This may be troubling for some parents who are paying tuition, have their children on their health insurance plans, and continue to claim them as dependents on their tax returns.
When Will These Documents Be Useful For Young Adults?
If your child is in an accident and becomes disabled, even temporarily, you may need court approval to act on his or her behalf. This may be a costly and lengthy process.
It should not take something nearly as drastic as a car accident for parents to need to act on a child’s behalf.
You should have a healthcare power of attorney and authorization in place if your child is ill and in the hospital. This will allow doctors to discuss the child’s condition with you.
These powers of attorney can be effective upon your child’s incapacity giving you power to act for them. This is only after they are determined to be incapacitated.
The power can be effective immediately, giving you access to their medical and financial information immediately. It depends on your child and what rights they would like to give to you as the agent. Your child still maintains their independence and power, even though they have given you the power to act for them in certain situations.
Specific restrictions of rights can be put into the power of attorney documents. For example, your child can give you the power to have access to his or her finances. They can also choose to not allow you to access their grades.
This document can be useful in a variety of situations. For example, if your child is studying abroad and you need to contact the local embassy for whatever reason. This document will also be useful if you need to wire money from a child’s bank account, sign a lease in your child’s name, etc.
Make sure you send your children off into the real world this fall with these 3 important items. Having this discussion with your child will save you money and headache down the line.