It’s that busy time of year when high school seniors are taking the SAT, going to prom, and trying to stay focused on finishing the last semester. This is not to mention the college-bound students who are researching which college best matches their future goals, making college campus visits, and completing the daunting task of sending college applications. This busy time has hit close to home—my oldest son is an 18-year-old senior finishing his last semester in high school. We are like many families with so many other things calling for our attention at this time, but how many parents of young adults consider estate planning for their children? Even for the high school graduate who has nothing, planning for health emergencies is critical.
For most states, the age of majority is 18. At this age the legal system considers the 18-year-old as an adult for being in charge of making their own medical and financial decisions. Parents can no longer make their child’s financial or medical decisions, or have access to the child’s medical records. Most parents think that if they are paying for their child’s college education, or if the child lives under their roof, then they have the legal right to make the child’s decisions. Think again; parents can no longer make their child’s financial or medical decisions once they reach age 18.
There are quite a few kids reaching age 18 during the senior year of high school, and then at the beginning of their college career. Unfortunately, most parents don’t consider estate planning for their young adult because typically they correlate estate planning with having a huge accumulation of money. Because most 18-year-olds don’t have much accumulation of money in their name, the most important planning doesn’t get done. The error of this reasoning is that estate planning is about planning for both the financial and medical decisions that may arise.
Planning to graduate from high school and making college plans is an exciting time in our children’s lives. If you have a young adult at home or one getting ready to leave home, it is important that you as their parents have the legal authority to make their medical and financial decisions should they be unable to do so. The basic estate plan consisting of a durable financial power of attorney, living will, healthcare power of attorney, mental health care power of attorney, and HIPAA would grant this legal authority. Don’t be shy; spread the word to others you know with young adults that the best eighteenth birthday present that you can give is a basic estate plan. I know I did!
Why Choose Morris Hall:
You have a number of options when it comes to estate planning, so why pick Morris Hall? First off, estate planning and asset protection are a very complicated endeavor and you should only trust someone who focuses exclusively on those matters. Also, MH is a proud member of The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA) which provides us additional support, advanced training, tools and information that is not available to others – which means that we can better protect your assets and your loved ones. We are one of only two firms in Arizona that belong to the AAEPA and are the only firm in New Mexico that has been granted membership. If you have assets and loved ones that you want to protect, you are in good hands with MH. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
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.