Turning eighteen, graduating high school, moving away from home and going off to college are exciting milestones. Once you turn eighteen, you have new rights and responsibilities that you’ve never had before. Your parents are experiencing new things too. For example, it comes as a bad surprise to many parents that once their child turns eighteen, they can no longer automatically access their child’s medical records and authorize medical treatment.
Autonomy regarding your own healthcare and financial decisions can be fantastic but both young adults and their parents need to know that if something happens and an adult child doesn’t have certain legal documents in place, parents and family cannot automatically act on their behalf and may need to begin a legal guardianship proceeding if an adult child cannot make medical or financial decisions. Guardianship proceedings take time and are emotionally difficult and expensive. To become the legal guardian of an adult child can take months and cost thousands of dollars.
To avoid the time and expense of a guardianship proceeding, plan ahead. There are simple legal documents that enable a trusted family member or friend to handle things for you should you become incapacitated or while you are travelling or away at school. These documents are easy to obtain and inexpensive.
What documents does a young adult need? At a minimum you should have:
- a healthcare power of attorney;
- a HIPAA authorization; and
- a living will.
You may also want to go one step further and give your trusted family member or friend a durable power of attorney that will allow them to manage your finances, protect your social media pages, and even care for a pet while you are away at school or traveling. Contact us at 980-247-3011 to schedule a convenient time to come in and get these documents.
This post is an advertisement and should not be construed as offering legal advice, or creating an attorney client relationship between the viewer and Brockmann Law. Always seek legal advice from an attorney licensed in your state when you have a legal question.
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