With the holiday season in full swing and with Christmas right around the corner, the pressure of finding that perfect gift for loved ones is growing. While an estate plan might not make your newly 18-year-old child light up like the newest version iPhone, the important documents for a financial and medical Powers of Attorney nonetheless promise to be the far more memorable gift. After all, these documents will be instrumental in protecting your child in any unforeseen financial and medical situation that may arise.
What Documents Every Young Adult Need
As soon as your teenager reaches the age of majority (18 in most states), they gain full control of their personal financial and medical matters. This means that they are in charge of who may access their medical records and who can intervene in their finances. Without legally-granted permission, you, their parent, may thus struggle to come to their rescue in a moment of crisis. A basic estate plan typically includes a Will, Powers of Attorney documents, and a HIPAA authorization resolves this worry. While your 18-year-old may not have many assets at this stage of their life, the importance of the Powers of Attorney should not be overlooked.
In addition to providing protection from unforeseen tragedy, these documents act as a lifelong guide. A young adult will likely have only simple assets but this will change and when it does, their plan will, too. That is when an estate plan comes into place, so it’s worth considering at this stage. As a person’s family and wealth grows, their Will and advance directives require updating. The act of attending to this task serves as a periodic check-in concerning financial and sentimental priorities. Furthermore, as retirement planning enters the picture (and this can never come too soon), an estate plan acts as a mechanism to ensure everything stays on track such that a person enters their golden years without worry.
The Most Important Documents For Young Adults
1. Durable Financial Power of Attorney (POA)
This document allows you to designate a loved one or trusted advisor to manage your financial affairs should you suffer incapacitating injury. For parents, this means that if an adult child ends up gravely injured, you will—if named as POA—be able to take up the responsibility of paying rent and bills and even of filing a personal injury suit or applying for public benefits on your child’s behalf.
2. Medical Power of Attorney
Much like the above, medical power of attorney allows you to designate a loved one to act on your behalf, although here, the power refers to healthcare-related matters.
3. HIPAA Authorization
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), insurance companies and health care providers are obliged to protect the privacy of their patient’s health records. When you sign a HIPAA authorization you grant a designated individual the right to access these records such that they can make informed medical decisions on your behalf.
The holiday season is, above all, about showing family that you care and so however unglamorous, there really is no better gift than these important documents to protect your financial and medical matters.
To learn more about the Powers of Attorney, estate planning, or to get started on setting one up for your child today, do not hesitate to reach out to the Deliberato Law Center either by calling us at (216) 341-3413 or using the contact form on our website.
Contact the Estate Planning Attorneys at Deliberato Law Center