The Law Center P.C.
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Does My Child Need Estate Planning?

Does My Child Need Estate Planning? When your son or daughter reaches the age of majority — eighteen years old — you lose your legal ability to make any decisions regarding their finances or medical care. You even lose the ability to find this information out unless you have their expressed permission. It can be frustrating to discover that you are no longer able to access your child’s grades without their permission – but a medical emergency takes that frustration to an entirely new level. In the case of a medical emergency when your child is unable to make decisions for themselves, you will need to go to court to access their treatment information, finances, and make their medical decisions.It’s important to have legal documents in place to protect your child in the event that they cannot speak for themselves. These documents allow you, or someone they feel they trust, to make decisions for them in the event that they cannot. This conversation is very important and must be candid, your child is the one who needs to choose who they trust the most to make decisions for them. These legal documents are inexpensive and it is crucial that anyone over the age of majority have them.Parents should consider scheduling an appointment with their attorney after their child’s eighteenth birthday and encourage others to do the same. These documents will, ideally, never need to be used – but should always be in place in case disaster strikes. There are a number of scenarios that your child’s estate planning should include:IncapacityDurable Power of Attorney – HealthcareThis gives you or another person the authority to make all medical decisions (including decisions regarding life support) if your child is incapacitated.Durable Power of Attorney – FinancialThis document gives you the legal authority to manage your child’s assets should they become incapacitated. There are different types of powers of attorney, and ideally this one should be written for activation only if your child cannot make these decisions due to illness or injury.HIPAA AuthorizationsThese documents will allow your child’s doctors to discuss their medical history and condition with anyone named including you and other loved ones.DeathThe majority of young adults to do not possess substantial assets. A simple will is usually the most appropriate documentation to prepare for this possibility. A will allows your child to designate to whom their assets and belongings should be disseminated in the event of their demise. Without a will in place the laws of your child’s residing state will make the determination. Once these documents are signed, the work isn’t over yet – it’s important they your child keep a record of accounts and passwords, including their computer password, to be used in the event that they become injured or ill. Financial documents and this password record should be kept in a hard copy in a safe place to ensure they can be found in the event that they’re needed. Your child should also be aware that if there is something on their computer or in their home they don’t wish their parents to find, they should ensure they have a friend who is willing to remove or delete anything that they wish. Remind your child that these documents should be kept up to date and reviewed frequently for changes.If your child is at or close to the age of majority, schedule your free consultation today at 303-991-5200 to discuss what you can do to ensure your child’s rights are protected and their wishes are respected! : The Law Center PC

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