There are many milestones on the way to adulthood; high school graduation and turning 18 are big ones.  With the age of majority come additional privileges and responsibilities.  Newly minted adults are expected to make more decisions for themselves, as their parents adjust to changes in their roles. 


As we celebrate their accomplishments and look forward to new beginnings, we don’t like to think about what would happen if our son or daughter were ever to need emergency surgery, or worse, if end-of-life decisions were necessary following an accident.  But the reality is that once a child turns 18, his or her parents do not have legal authority to make decisions regarding that child’s healthcare or finances.  The good news is that a couple of carefully drafted, basic legal documents can put you at ease.

A typical package for a young adult should include:

*Health Care Advance Directives, consisting of a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, a Living Will, a HIPAA Release and a Declaration Regarding Final Arrangements; and a

*Durable General Power of Attorney (also known as a Financial Power of Attorney).

These documents will enable medical staff to speak to the named agent about the patient, and the agent is able to make health care decisions, pay bills, and apply for benefits for the patient, among other things.  Without the authority granted by these legal documents, parents would have to seek court approval to make decisions or take action on behalf of their adult son or daughter.

If young adults have a child of their own or if they want to leave assets to someone other than parents and siblings, a Will should be included as well.

Congratulations to the graduate in your life.  The unthinkable can happen to adults of any age, so please plan ahead for the unexpected!  Contact Loftus Law Offices, PLLC and we’ll work with you to create a sound plan for your family’s unique needs.


Check back in July for our next Blog.