Mother and son meeting with estate planning attorney

Legal Documents That May Be Important for Your 18-Year-Old Child

  • Posted on: Aug 29 2022
  • By:

It may seem a bit strange, but it’s important to note that estate planning doesn’t actually require an estate. There are many important “estate planning” documents that aren’t about how much money or property you have. For this reason, everyone over the age of 18 should begin to establish an estate plan. When your child turns 18 you no longer have the legal right to access their medical records and make medical decisions for them. 

It’s difficult to ever imagine that your child could become injured and/or incapacitated. But while we hope and pray that will never be the case, it’s in both your and their best interest to establish the proper documents so as to care for them in such an event. 

Durable Power of Attorney for Finances

If your child becomes incapacitated or if they are far away (think: studying abroad), a Durable Power of Attorney for Finance enables a designated agent to make financial decisions on their behalf and manage their financial accounts. This can also prove helpful if parents need to sign a financial document on behalf of their child but are out of state or aren’t in the same country. 

California Statutory Power of Attorney

Another important document is a California Statutory Power of Attorney, which is widely recognized by banks and other financial institutions. However, this document doesn’t cover everything, so establishing something such as an Expanded Durable Power of Attorney, which can be even more custom, can be of great use. 

California Advance Health Care Directive

A California Advance Health Care Directive is important because it allows for an appointed agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the individual who signed it in the event that the latter should become incapacitated. If your child makes you the agent, you can make medical decisions on his or her behalf. As the agent, you can choose whether or not to prolong life where medical intervention would be required and can decide if the individual will be an organ donor.

HIPAA Authorization for Release of Information

Finally, the last document that is very important for your 18-year-old child is a HIPAA Authorization for Release of Information. Under HIPAA law, no one else is entitled to receive medical information about a patient. This includes information on a patient’s condition and even if they are in a specific hospital. This means that once your child reaches the age of 18 you would not be entitled to know about what happened with them should they become injured. If your child signs a HIPAA Authorization for Release of Information, this would allow medical professionals and institutions to inform you of their condition and where they are located. 

The Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC Help those Who Wish to Establish an Estate Plan

If you or your loved one live in California and would like to establish an estate plan, it’s in your best interest to consult with a qualified California estate-planning attorney who can help. 

At the Law Offices of Brian L. Fox, APLC, we know how important it is to protect those whom you love so much. We will help you to establish a comprehensive estate plan that meets your needs. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Estate Planning