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Important Legal Documents for Children

June 03, 2019

Graduation season is upon us and in only a few months many high school graduates will be off to college.  For many, college will be their first time away from home and the first step towards independence.

Legally, they will also be adults as many of them will be 18 years old.  And as adults, they will be in control of their own financial, legal, or medical decisions.

Before sending your children off to college, it may be beneficial to discuss their wishes for financial, legal, and medical decisions and plan accordingly.

As a part of this process the important legal documents to consider include a durable power of attorney and health care proxy. These documents allow the child to appoint an agent (typically the parent) to make decisions regarding finances or health care on their behalf. Without these documents parents may not be able to sign for financial matters such as adding funds to their bank account, leases, or maybe even tuition payments. In addition, parents may not be able to access the child’s medical records or make medical decisions in an emergency.

We recommend taking the summer months to discuss these topics with your children and taking steps to create legal documents to mitigate this risk.