Coming of Age and Powers of Attorney
When your child turns 18 (in most states), it might be hard to imagine that the little child who once needed you for everything has now become – overnight – an adult. Now your child is free to vote, marry, apply for a credit card, make medical and financial decisions, sign contracts, and live independently. No wonder the law calls this coming of age “emancipation.” But if your adult child is hurt in an accident and needs somebody to make critical medical decisions, you cannot be the one to do that without your child having named you as healthcare power of attorney, even if you’re still paying for your child’s health insurance. If that child is so injured that a guardian is needed, you would not automatically be that person. Court proceedings would be required and those are expensive and time-consuming. Health care powers of attorney help avoid that headache and give you the standing you need, in one efficient document.
Reality Check: Why Your (Legally) Adult Children Need Powers of Attorney
With regards to financial matters, you will not be permitted access to your adult child’s bank accounts unless your child has named attorney-in-fact in a financial power of attorney.
Even if you’re paying for your child’s education, schools are not permitted to release educational records without a signed “FERPA” disclosure statement when your child reaches majority. See:
Becoming an adult is a major milestone. Your child’s 18th birthday would be a good time to explain about paying bills, getting a copy of the child’s social security card and birth certificate, living independently, registering to vote, and signing contracts to rent apartments, for example, or make major purchases like a car.
Remember to include the powers of attorney in that discussion. They are invaluable when your adult child needs you, at a stressful time when you do not want to hear any “no’s.” Powers of attorney could save you and your child delay, heartache, and expense.
We are here to help.
At McDonald Law Firm, we would be happy to help you or your child with the proper powers of attorney, as well as other planning needs that become more urgent as they grow older. If you’d like to discuss your particular situation in a confidential setting, give Andre O. McDonald, a knowledgeable Howard County, Montgomery County and District of Columbia estate planning, special-needs planning, veterans pension planning and Medicaid planning attorney, a call today at (443) 741-1088 or (301) 941-7809. We can schedule an appointment to discuss ways that we can help support you and your family to protect the people and possessions that mean the most to you.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION POSTED ON THIS BLOG IS INTENDED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED TO CONVEY LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE.