Back to school, off to college, or into military service? Perhaps you have just entered the work world? Believe it or not, it may be time to consult with a good lawyer. Turning eighteen, moving out of the house, or various other transitions present new challenges to planning for the future and preparing for real life. The military may mandate estate planning, but it’s just as important for the rest of us.
Laws that protect your privacy can also present hurdles to trusted family members or friends who try to help in a crisis. When my children turned 18 and visited the doctor it was difficult to confirm information in order to pay the bill based on their adult status and privacy concerns. In that instance or in case of their disability or incapacity, it would be a huge blessing to have a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare with a prominent HIPPA release. In order to do business for them or to protect their interests in a pinch, whether they were travelling or recovering from an accident or illness, they need to execute a Statutory Durable Power of Attorney for business and financial purposes. A child who lives with certain physical, emotional, or intellectual challenges may not need a Guardianship, but they may need a person designated to serve as an Attorney in Fact to assist them with business, financial, and/or medical decisions. I have helped several clients celebrate their eighteenth birthday by drafting documents to make their transition into adulthood a little more secure.
Lastly, although the thought is too terrible for any parent to ponder, young adults sometimes die. The call from the parent or older sibling explaining that their loved one has passed away is a horrible and sacred conversation. Who would have thought a young person would need a will? Who would have thought that access to the accident report, hospital records, dorm room or apartment would be necessary, or that estate planning could have eased the pain a little, or at least not added to it.
May you find joy in your transitions and remember to look out for our little ones and not so little ones as we go back to school!