As a parent, you likely helped your children make medical and financial decisions since they were born. However, once your child turns 18, there are legally considered an adult. According to the law, an 18-year-old is responsible for making decisions regarding health, finance, and safety. Without proper documents, parents of adult children will not be entitled to critical information. As a result, you may be cut out of important life-changing decisions and be unable to protect your children once they turn 18.
Medical Power of Attorney
When a child is over the age of 18, they must give written permission for their parents to receive their medical information. If your child is ever in an accident, they will need a medical power of attorney. Without one, the doctor may legally not be allowed to provide you with medical updates. Also, you may not be able to make medical decisions on your child’s behalf even if they are unable to. Having a medical power of attorney in place will allow you to make decisions regarding your child’s health if they become incapacitated. It can be devastating not to have the right to make medical decisions on behalf of your injured child. Having proper documents and medical power of attorney in place will ensure your rights as a parent to protect your children once they turn 18.
Durable Power of Attorney
Durable power of attorney allows you to act on your child’s behalf for financial and legal matters. This gives parents the right to access bank accounts, sign tax returns, renew car registration, and perform other transactions on behalf of their children. With a durable power of attorney, your child can limit certain types of transactions you can achieve. They can also grant a power of attorney within a timeline that includes a starting and stop date. The option to only give specific access allows children to maintain their legal freedom while parents keep their right to protect their children. For example, if your child chooses to study abroad in college, a durable power of attorney gives you the freedom to assist in their affairs and financials even when they are out of the country.
Once your child turns 18, it is essential to have both medical and durable power of attorney. It is a good idea to consult with a local attorney to make sure you follow your home state’s guidelines and the state your child lives in if they differ. It is vital to sit down with your child and discuss the reasons for the document before asking them to sign anything. Having both documents in place will ensure your ability to protect your children once they turn 18.
The attorneys at Frame & Frame have been assisting members of our local community for over 70 years with these processes. We will help you and your family understand your rights and how to protect them. If you are looking for guidance on protecting your children once they turn 18, visit us online or schedule a consultation today!