18-year-old girl at school

Essential Estate Planning Documents for When Your Child Turns 18

As a parent, one of the most significant milestones is witnessing your child turn 18. At OC Wills & Trusts, we understand that this is not just a coming-of-age moment, but also a critical time for considering essential estate planning documents. While it may seem premature, having these documents in place ensures that your young adult’s wishes are honored in unexpected situations.

Upon turning 18, your child is legally considered an adult. This change means parents no longer have automatic authority to make decisions or access information about their child’s health, finances, or education. Estate planning documents can bridge this gap, providing necessary permissions in critical situations.

Durable Power of Attorney for Finance

This document allows your young adult to appoint someone they trust (often a parent) to manage financial affairs if they are unable to do so. It can cover tasks like paying bills, managing bank accounts, and handling other financial matters.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A Health Care Power of Attorney lets your child designate someone to make medical decisions on their behalf if they are incapacitated. This is crucial in emergencies, ensuring that treatment preferences are followed.

HIPAA Authorization

A HIPAA Authorization form permits health care providers to share your child’s medical information with designated individuals. Without this, parents may be unable to receive crucial health updates in emergencies.

Living Will

A Living Will, or an advance health care directive, outlines your child’s preferences for medical treatment in critical situations. It provides guidance on life-sustaining measures, organ donation, and other important health care decisions.

A Will

Although young adults may not have significant assets, having a will can be important. It allows them to express their wishes about the distribution of their belongings and designate an executor.

Digital Assets

Young adults should consider how their digital assets, such as social media accounts, emails, and digital files, should be handled. Including these in their estate plan ensures proper management or deactivation as per their wishes.

Discussing the Importance

As a parent, it’s important to discuss these documents with your child and explain their significance. Emphasize that these measures are about protection and ensuring their wishes are respected.

Contact OC Wills & Trusts Attorney to Schedule an Initial Consultation

Turning 18 is a significant milestone that comes with new responsibilities and legal implications. Ensuring your child has essential estate planning documents in place is a vital step in preparing them for adulthood.

If your child is nearing or has just turned 18, contact OC Wills & Trusts Attorneys for guidance on essential estate planning documents. Our attorneys can help you and your child navigate these important decisions, providing peace of mind for the entire family. Prepare for the future now; reach out to us for a consultation.

Brian Chew, the managing partner of OC Wills & Trust Attorneys, has extensive experience in the areas of estate planning, asset protection planning, business succession planning, long-term care planning, and veterans’ benefits. By devoting his practice to estate planning matters, he has founded a firm that strives to provide exceptional service to their clients by working closely with individuals and their families to create comprehensive and customized estate plans. For the past twenty five years, Brian has served thousands of clients in the matters of estate planning, wills and trusts. If you have any questions about this article, you can reach Brian Chew here.