Does a parent have the automatic right to make the decisions for their children over eighteen (18) years of age?
This past week I met with three new families to assist them in their estate planning options. There was a common theme – each family thought that their children (all over 18) didn’t need their own individual planning because the parents would be able to be in charge should the need arise.
Let’s take an example to illustrate: Betty’s eighteen year old son, Sam, was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him unconscious and in a coma. Can Betty legally make Sam’s healthcare and financial decisions now that he is unable to? No, Betty would legally be unable to do so just because she is Sam’s mother. If Sam had created Healthcare or Financial Powers of Attorney nominating Betty as his primary agent, then Betty would have the appropriate authority. However, the fact that Betty is Sam’s mother doesn’t give her an automatic right to make Sam’s decisions when he is unable to do so.
In our example, if Sam had not created Powers of Attorney, Betty would have to initiate a Guardianship/Conservatorship at the courthouse. This type of proceeding is called a Living Probate, and is very expensive, time consuming and can be humiliating.
We can avoid this unnecessary cost and humiliation during our life. How? If you are over eighteen years of age, you need a properly drafted Healthcare Power of Attorney, Mental Healthcare Power of Attorney, Living Will, and HIPAA which nominates an individual(s) chosen by you, not the court, to get access to and handle your medical decisions should you become incapacitated.
Morris Hall Can Protect You in Today’s Litigious Society:
We live in a litigious society, where over 1 million lawsuits are filed every year in America alone. Financial predators are looking for ways to take funds from others and often use litigation as their means to do so. At Morris Hall we provide your assets and your loved ones with important protections that can prevent financial predators from taking advantage of you. We do this through proper and current estate planning techniques. With an MH living trust, we can also protect your property, assets and loved ones from probate, estate taxes, gift taxes, creditors, Medicaid spend-down, conservatorship or guardianship proceedings, ex-spouses and more. A living trust also keeps your asset and beneficiary information private and secure to avoid giving financial predators information to use against you and your family. Without a living trust, this information will be made public. For those living in Arizona, we serve the areas of Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Prescott, Flagstaff, Sedona, Tucson, Sonoita, Arrowhead, Avondale, Goodyear and Tempe. In New Mexico we serve the areas of Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, White Rock, Alamogordo, Truth or Consequences and more. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment with an attorney in your area!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation
- Planning for your frequent flyer miles.How Anthony Bourdain did it. - July 11, 2018
- Traveling – Plan for Your Destination! - June 27, 2016
- Happy 100th Birthday to the Federal Estate Tax - June 22, 2016