Legal Planing You Need to Do FOr Your High School Graduate

If you’re the parent of a high school graduate this year, congratulations! You’ve put in a lot of time and effort toward their earning that diploma, and whatever their next step in life will be, you likely want to protect them just as much as you did while they were still in high school. But before you pack that kid off to college or just an apartment across town, you need to know that when they leave, they will be taking some of the legal rights you had before they turned 18 with them. Once a child turns 18, they are no longer considered a child in the eyes of the law. And you no longer have the legal right to access their health care, school or banking records without their permission. Here are some steps you should take before your child leaves the nest that will help ensure your peace of mind and their safety:

Create an advance healthcare directive.

Once your child is officially an adult, they need to have an advance healthcare directive that will allow you to access their medical records and make medical decisions for them in case they become incapacitated. This is essential in case of an emergency. They will also need to sign a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) form that allows medical professionals to share information with you.

Create a general financial power of attorney.

In the event of a crisis, you may also have a real need to access your young adults finances and other types of accounts or policies. However, like having limited access (if any) to their medical information, you will likely need a court order to gain access to their finances unless you've prepared your young-adult ahead of time by having a general financial power of attorney in place.

I started the Family Wills & Trusts law firm in order to serve Michigan parents and help them take the best possible care of their families from a legal perspective. One way we do this is by including these foundational estate planning documents to our clients' young-adult children headed off to college at no additional cost.

If you would like to learn more about this benefit of our unique style of estate planning for parents, and the many other ways we help our clients to become more "complete parents," keep scrolling further down to view our contact information.