Here at Ison Law, we know what a joy it is to celebrate our children growing up, going off to college, starting a job, perfecting their trade, or whatever journey they find themselves. It is an extremely exciting time, full of opportunity and celebrations, but as a parent, you might also feel some uncertainty.
UPDATED & WRITTEN BY: SOPHIA MILLER
Ison Law | 10348 Sawmill Road, PO Box 1108 | Powell, OH 43065
614-336-3083 | www.ison.law
My Child Has Turned 18 and is Leaving Home, Will I Still Get Critical Information to Support Them?
Parents who have children who leave home no longer have any ability to get critical health information, financial information, or other information that parents are used to getting just by being the parent.
If your child turns 18 and suddenly becomes incapacitated, the court would appoint a guardian who they believe would act in the best interest of your child. This can be a costly and time-consuming process. Considering accidents happen all the time, parents shouldn’t have to worry about this!
To avoid this sort of nightmare (and others like it), it’s important that you and your child prepare the following 3 documents as soon as they turn 18: A General Power of Attorney, a Health Care Power of Attorney, and a Living Will. These documents will help protect them as they work toward their future.
What is a general power of attorney?
A general power of attorney is a legal document that grants the agent (the parent), the authority to act on behalf of the principal (your child) in various financial and legal matters. Here are some things that a general power of attorney can do for your child:
A general power of attorney allows you as the parent to handle your child's financial affairs, such as managing bank accounts, paying bills, signing contracts, and making investment decisions. This can be beneficial if your child becomes incapacitated, is unavailable, or simply needs assistance in handling their financial responsibilities
With a general power of attorney, you can also act on behalf of your child in legal matters, such as signing legal documents, initiating or responding to legal proceedings, or engaging in negotiations.
What is a healthcare power of attorney?
Many college or university students are living on their own for the first time in their lives and although most are young and healthy, they are also exposed to many new health risks. Such risks come from living in dorms or close quarters with other students, from the stress of being away from home, from the pressure of academic life, from lack of sleep, or from the use of drugs and alcohol.
A healthcare power of attorney allows your child to appoint you, as their parent, to make and carryout medical decisions on their behalf if they become unable to make those decisions themselves. This is crucial in cases of accidents or illnesses that render them unable to communicate or make informed choices about their healthcare. The answers to these medical decisions are laid out in the Living Will.
What is a living will?
A living will enables your child to document their preferences regarding medical treatment in specific situations. It allows them to express their wishes regarding life-sustaining treatments, resuscitation, and other medical interventions. This ensures that their personal values and beliefs are respected and followed even when they can't express them directly. The Healthcare Power of Attorney and Living Will work together to ensure your child’s medical preferences are carried out if they ever become incapacitated and unable to communicate their wishes.
Why are all these documents important?
Peace of mind: Having a general power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney, and a living will in place provides peace of mind for both your child and their loved ones. It ensures that their medical treatment aligns with their desires and beliefs, and it relieves family and friends from the burden of making difficult decisions on their behalf without clear guidance.
Trusted decision-making: Appointing you for all these roles allows your child to choose someone they trust implicitly to handle their affairs. As your child’s parent, you are among the most reliable, responsible, and capable of carrying out your child’s wishes.
Avoiding family conflicts: Without these sorts of documents in place, family members might have differing opinions about the appropriate course of medical treatment or financial decisions. This can lead to disagreements and potential conflicts during already stressful times. Having these legal documents in place helps provide clarity and avoid disputes among family members, ensuring that your child’s wishes are honored.
Let’s Get Started!
Now that you know how important making these decisions are, give us a call today! We will be happy to assist you as your child makes one more step into adulthood!