When a child reaches the age of eighteen (18), in the eyes of the law they become an adult and are responsible for making their own medical and financial decisions. For many parents, the concept that their child is now an adult does not necessarily mean they want their child making such important decisions on their own. To address these concerns for our clients who are parents of young adults, we often recommend and prepare various powers of attorney for these adult children. The most common powers of attorney we prepare for adult children are Health Care Powers of Attorney and General Durable Powers of Attorney (also commonly known as Financial Powers of Attorney).
Health Care Powers of Attorney allow a person to nominate the person or people they want to serve as their “Agent(s)” and who will make health care or medical related decisions on their behalf in the event they are alive, but incapacitated and unable to make those decisions for themselves. A Financial Power of Attorney is the same thing, only for financial decisions or decisions with respect to a person’s assets. These are all decisions that a parent can no longer make for their child when their child reaches the age of eighteen (18). These documents are especially important for parents with children leaving for college or living on their own for the first time, because a parent has no authority to communicate with the child’s doctors, financial advisors, etc., without a power of attorney documents authorizing them to do so.
If you have a child who recently turned eighteen (18) or who may be reaching the age of majority in the near future, contact the attorneys at Thomas Law Group to discuss your options for ensuring you are able to provide guidance and exercise decision making authority for the medical and financial well-being of your young adult children, if such a situation ever arose. We will work with you and your adult child(ren) to ensure their desires are met and to ensure someone has the authority to help them if they need it.