Few people think about estate planning when they have only just become adults. However, an estate plan provides important protections for young adults, whether they are working, assisting in a family business, or leaving for college. After all: while the average 18-year-old may not be able to plan their entire legacy, they must still account for emergencies.
The Estate Planning Documents Every 18-Year-Old Needs
Everyone knows that “18” is a special year: it is when children become adults—able to vote, join the military, and drive without restriction.
However, adulthood’s privileges can sometimes herald complications. When a child turns 18, they are automatically accorded special privacy and decision-making rights. While these rights are intended to protect their financial and physical independence, they can prevent parents from helping their own children in the event of an emergency.
An Arkansas estate planning attorney can help your family stay protected by establishing:
A health care proxy
- If your child is ever hurt, incapacitated, or disabled, they can nominate a parent as their health care proxy—someone who is empowered to make medical decisions on their behalf when they are unable to provide guidance or consent.
A durable power of attorney
- Your child’s finances become private property when they turn 18. If your child ever gets hurt or becomes incapacitated, they may need a parent’s help paying their bills, investing trust proceeds, or keeping their rent paid. The durable power of attorney lets you access your child’s funds when they are physically or mentally incapable of doing so.
- While nobody wishes to think about their own child’s death, a will helps protect your legacy and your child’s.
While some children may be reluctant to accord their parents these rights, they should understand that anyone—even a parent—who is designated a health care proxy or delegated the durable power of attorney has a legal duty to act in the principal’s best interests. In other words, your child’s assets remain their assets, no matter what. The only difference is that your family can continue caring for them if they are unable to do so.
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Creating an estate plan for an 18-year-old does not have to be challenging. Oftentimes, it helps adult children feel empowered: not only do they get a say in some of life’s most important decisions, but they get the reassurance of knowing their parents can always have their back.
An Arkansas estate planning attorney can help your family create a custom-built plan designed to accommodate your child’s needs while bolstering their lifelong dreams. Send Quraishi Law & Wealth a message online today to schedule your initial consultation.