The days are long, but the years are short. I know soon enough my children will be going off to college and although it’s something to look forward to, I don’t want it to happen just yet. Do you have a child going off to college already?
Having some estate planning documents in place before they head off to college is especially important even if you don’t think they need it. You may think they’re too young or don’t really have any significant assets. However, when a child turns 18 years old, they are legally their own person. Parents of an adult child will no longer be able to control the health care decisions of their child or be able to manage their child’s financial affairs.
For example, if your child is going to an out-of-state college and is involved in an accident that leaves your child unable to make medical decisions, without a health care directive, the doctor may not release any information on your child’s medical condition or make any decisions unless there is a court order.
Or if your child is studying abroad in another country and needs immediate access to funds, you may need a power of attorney for your child to be able to talk to the financial institutions and help get money to your child overseas.
Make sure to discuss what documents are needed for your children who are turning 18 or recently turned 18 years old.
About the Author
Christine Chung, Esq.