11 Jun Adulting: What Happens When Your Child Turns 18? Justin Crain, Partner
One’s 18th birthday is a momentous occasion. No longer a child, but not quite a full-fledged adult, right? At 18, you can vote, drive without most restrictions, buy or sell real estate, enter into contracts and more all while starting college or a chosen profession. During this time in life, an 18-year-old is often still on your health insurance and receiving some type of monetary support begging the question, “why does an estate planning firm care about my 18-year-old child”?
Your 18-year old is now entering the no-man’s land of young adulthood. They still need you in many ways, but in the eyes of banks, hospitals, colleges and other institutions your 18-year old is now an adult and as such is entitled to adult protection of privacy. This is as it should be.
However, picture this…your college freshman has been hurt at a football game and is now in the hospital unconscious. In order to gain access to medical records and make medical decisions on their behalf, you need to be their named Medical Power of Attorney and named as a HIPAA Release agent.
What happens if your 18-year old needs you to make financial decisions for him or her during a time of sickness? You need to be named their Durable Power of Attorney.
Take the time to make sure documents like Medical Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Directive and Declaration of Guardian in Advance are in place before launching your young adult into the world. Being prepared now will save heartache and frustration should an emergency occur.
Contact Crain & Wooley to get these documents in place and send your young adult into the world knowing their safety net is strong.