It is back-to-school time in America. As Labor Day approaches, schools are starting back up. From an estate planning perspective, this is important in that many young adult students are heading away from home. Here’s a link (http://www.forbes.com/sites/deborahljacobs/2014/08/15/two-documents-every-18-year-old-should-sign/) to an interesting Forbes article on the topic.
People are typically reluctant to think about planning for themselves. But, seldom do they think about the planning for their adult children. But, it is very unlikely that the young adult would think of estate planning on their own. They are more concerned with what courses they’ll be taking, or what the dating scene might hold for them. The fact is that the parents still typically feel responsible for their young adult children, even if they are not legally responsible for them.
I always suggest that my clients to discuss with their children about having powers of attorney. The adult children should have a power of attorney for property. Normally, the child would name the parent(s) as the agent(s), although another agent could be named. If the child is reluctant because their parent could use it to find out about grades, the POA could be modified to exclude specifically any transaction having to do with finding out grades. If the child is particularly reticent and concerned about their independence, the power could even be made springing. However, an immediate power of attorney would be more useful and could be used by the parent to sell a car when the child is away at school, or many other transactions of convenience for the child.
The child should also have a health care power of attorney. This is especially important as accident and injury is more prevalent in the college age group.
Call me with any questions,