Your 18 year old son or daughter is now a legal adult. This means that you no longer have the authority to make decisions on his (or her) behalf or obtain personal information about his financial and medical affairs. After 18 years of caring for your child and making all of their major decisions, this change can be difficult to navigate.
Imagine this scenario - Your child's college roommate calls to let you know your son was at a party that got "out of hand" and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance. His roommate doesn't seem to know anything other than the name of the hospital and you can't get in touch with your son. You call the hospital, but the physician refuses to share information. He asks for a copy of your son's Power of Attorney. Your son is a 6 hour flight away. You just want to know if he's okay or if you should be on the next flight to see him. A gut-wrenching scenario for any concerned parent.
Before "leaving the nest", your son or daughter should have the following documents in place:
1. Medical and Durable Power of Attorney
This document allows your child to name a trusted person (such as you) to advocate for him if he becomes ill, disabled or incapacitated, or just wants that trusted person to be able to communicate with and obtain information from medical personnel (including the university's health center or the attending physician in the example above) about his medical care, and make medical treatment decisions for him.
2. General and Durable Power of Attorney
This document allows your child to name a trusted person to advocate for him and communicate with banks, the university's bursar's office, loan providers, and other financial institutions in the event that he requires advocacy/assistance.
3. Living Will
This end-of-life document allows your adult child to direct whether or not he wants life-sustaining treatment if he becomes terminally ill or permanently unconscious and there is no chance of significant recovery. No parent wants to think about this document for their child, but this is his opportunity to decide his wishes now.
4. Last Will and Testament
This document is primarily used to direct where your child's assets should go if he should pass away and who should oversee the administration of his estate. While this is arguably the least important during your child's college years, it would be prudent to prepare a simple Will at the same time as the above documents.
After these documents are prepared, they should be stored in a fire-rated, waterproof safe for safe-keeping. If appropriate, these documents should be stored at home rather than in a dorm or college apartment.
Final note - estate planning typically takes 1-2 weeks from the initial appointment to complete. We are happy to assist your child in preparing and executing these documents before "leaving the nest" and setting off on the next big adventure. To schedule an appointment, please call 267-625-8877 or book online at bartonestatelaw.com/appointment .
*COLLEGE STUDENT OFFER - $650.00*
Schedule Initial Appointment now through August 10th
Initial Appointment (in-person or virtual)
Preparation of Will, General Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will
Signing Appointment (in-person)