This is the time of year when children are getting ready to head off to college or moving out on their own and into the workforce.
Don’t let out of sight be out of mind!
With this rite of passage comes new challenges and responsibilities. And one of them, you may be surprised, should be to prepare estate planning documents.
While many of you may have a Power of Attorney, an Appointment of a Health Care Representative and a Last Will and Testament as part of your estate plan, how many of your children and/or grandchildren have one as well?
Believe it or not, these legal documents are important to have whether you are 18 or 85.
1. If your child is in a car accident and unable to communicate with doctors, the doctors are not legally bound to speak to you about medical decisions, including end of life decision making, without a signed Appointment of a Health Care Representative.
2. If your loved one has a job and has bank accounts in her name, a Durable Power of Attorney would allow someone she chooses to step into her shoes should she need help with her banking or be unable to make financial decisions.
3. As her assets grow, a Last Will and Testament would allow her to designate who the beneficiaries of her estate would be. These documents can be updated over time to address changes in your child’s life, such as marriage and children.
So while you should rejoice and celebrate in your child or grandchild’s rite of passage upon turning 18, give a gift that probably won’t be given by anyone else — remind or schedule her or him to meet with us to do an estate plan.