Do you have a young adult child in your life? If so, read on–we’ve got some important information for you to consider.

Did you know that your legal authority to act or obtain information on behalf of your children terminates on their 18th birthday?  While this might not seem like a big deal, it can be devastating for a family in an emergency. Imagine your son is away at college when you get a phone call from his roommate saying your son has been taken to the hospital after a car accident. If your son doesn’t answer his cell phone, you’d probably call the hospital for information–only to be told that, because your son is a legal adult, they cannot disclose any information to you about his condition.  Without a health care power of attorney, you may not be able to get access to any information at all.

In addition to a lack of access to medical information, parents are also not permitted to access any educational information from their adult child’s college or university without a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release, even if they are the ones paying the tuition bill!

We recognize the importance of basic estate planning for young adults–and we are trying to spread the word.  In an effort to make basic planning more accessible, we are excited to introduce our new Young Adults Basics Package, which offers simple legal planning for unmarried individuals under the age of 25, who do not have any children. This package is different from our more comprehensive estate plans because it doesn’t provide death planning through a Last Will or a Revocable Living Trust. However, it provides essential legal protection for individual’s during their lifetime

The Young Adults Basic Package includes the following legal documents, which are absolutely crucial for parents who wish to provide support and assistance to their children after age 18.

  • A Durable General Power of Attorney is a financial document which allows someone to act on your behalf relating to any and all financial matters, including writing checks, paying bills, accessing bank account information, signing contracts, talking to credit card companies, and much more.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney is a legal document designating someone else to make medical decisions when you are no longer capable of making decisions for yourself. This document also should include a general HIPAA release, which provides your designated medical Agent the ability to receive protected medical information in an emergency.
  •  A Living Will Declaration provides instruction regarding artificial feeding and hydration in end of life situations.
  • A FERPA Release allows an adult student to consent to the release of protected educational information to chosen individuals.

Everyone over 18 should take steps to put these important documents in place. Unlike our traditional estate planning process which takes place over the course of 3 meetings, our Young Adults Basics Package can be completed in just 2 meetings–an initial planning meeting and a signing appointment. In order to make the process easier for adult children who are attending college out of state, we are happy to accommodate their initial planning meeting via Zoom, so it would only be necessary for them to come in person to sign the documents.

For students who are graduating this spring, this is a wonderful gift to consider before they head off to college in the fall. Give us a call today at 937-458-0574 to get the process started so your child or loved one can get their documents in place soon.