People often fail to realize that “estate planning” really starts when a person reaches the age of eighteen.
Consider the following risks…
A parent can not access an eighteen-plus year old’s bank account without the “legal” authority to do so. This authority comes in the form of Durable Power of Attorney for Financial Matters and must be executed by the child.
Similarly, an eighteen-plus-year-old child should execute a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care because his or her privacy will now be respected by medical personnel. This being the case, if your child is hospitalized and decisions need to be made on his or her behalf and/or medical information needs to be accessed, it is likely that his doctors will not listen to you or provide you with that medical information unless your child has appointed you as his agent in a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.
We recommend that you encourage your child to speak with your estate planning attorney about preparing these documents.