Young Adult Power of Attorney Forms: Why You Should Have Them for Your Child
When children turn 18, they are legally considered to be “adults.” With this designation, they gain a few rights, such as the right to vote, and join the military. As parents, you also lose a few “rights”, even if you are still financially responsible for them.
Yes - even if you are paying their tuition, their healthcare insurance, and claiming them as dependents on your taxes, in most states, you are technically not allowed to make healthcare decisions or manage money for your child. So, for many families the college-aged years are a bit of a gray area, in which your child is not a little kid, but not yet an autonomous adult.
This is where Young Adult Power of Attorney forms can be helpful. There are two different types, each with their own specific purpose.
Health Care Proxy
A Healthcare Proxy is a legal document that appoints someone to make healthcare decisions on your child’s behalf if they are unable to do so. This can be especially useful for college students who may not have easy access to their parents in case of an emergency, who may be studying abroad, or for children who may have a chronic illness or condition that requires ongoing medical care.
Durable Power of Attorney
The Durable Power of Attorney is useful in a variety of situations. For example, if your child travels overseas for a trip or to study abroad, the Durable Power of Attorney will make it easier to contact the local embassy or wire money from a child’s bank account. This document is also very helpful if you need to sign a legal document for your child, such as a lease.
How do you obtain a young adult power of attorney?
There are a few ways to obtain these legal documents. You could go online and do it on your own through sites such as LegalZoom, or USLegal.com.
Or you could contact a lawyer to put together a “back-to-school” package of these important documents. In one meeting with the lawyer, the forms and their implications can be calmly explained and signed. While this will require a small investment of time and money, it could bring your family years of peace of mind.
To obtain young adult power of attorney forms, you can reach out to our associates at Lamb McErlane PC for more information. Phone 610.430.8000.