I wanted to follow-up on this very important subject matter
and write a blog on it to assist the many parents who have young adult children
heading off to college. As our young children mature into young adulthood they
are recognized in the eyes of the law as “legal adults” upon attaining the age
of majority, which is 18 years old. This is wonderful as they enter into the
adult world of life with their new found independence and freedom. However, the
scary part of it all is god forbid they ever have an accident or medical
emergency, who will the medical providers call??
You would think naturally their loving parents, right?? Guess again. Unfortunately, due to the fact
that they are 18 years of age they are viewed as an adult and capable of making
their own decisions for medical decisions, as well as financial decisions. From
my experience, if the proper planning is not in place the parents will be
forced into the probate court to petition for a judge’s permission to make the
medical and financial decisions for a disabled or incapacitated child who is an
Parents call me and express their concerns when their
children are going off to college and the military and ask “how do I continue
to help my child manage his or her affairs for them while they are away?”
Fortunately, for those who plan in advance for these life events we are able to
help them by custom designing the very important legal documents that their
children or “young adults” will need while away from home. I tell my clients
that their children should have the following 3 legal documents in the event of
an emergency or even to help manage routine administrative and financial matters
for them. 1. Financial Power of Attorney 2. Health Care Proxy/Power of Attorney
and 3. HIPPA Authorization. These
documents when done properly are very powerful and put the legal power back in
the hands of the caring parent for these tricky years of life for the benefit
of their young adult children.
I have heard parents tell me they are paying their child’s
very expensive college tuition payments and when they call to inquire about
classes or grades the college does not need to divulge this information to the
parent. Really!? Yes, unfortunately this is the case when the child is 18 years
of age or older. This would be a major inconvenience and very frustrating for a
Unfortunately, there have been other occasions when a child
experiences a medical emergency and the medical staff has the same position.
Now, that can be a nightmare for any parent!
The key here is to meet with capable legal counsel to assist
with your son or daughters unique circumstances. The other key is to keep these
legal documents updated and current to accommodate any changes in your or your
child’s life and changes in the laws. We help our ‘Client Care Plan’ clients
keep these documents updated for free to help ensure they are current in the
event of an emergency.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a
consultation please call Attorney Patrick Kelleher at 781-871-PLAN (7526) or by
email at Pat@myfamilylifeplan.com
Sign up now for the fall free educational estate planning workshop series!
Patrick J. Kelleher is a South Shore, MA resident and estate
planning attorney serving and protecting families and businesses in the South
Shore, MA area. For more information on estate planning visit our firm’s
website at www.MyFamilyLifePlan.com where you can check out our Blog, free
Newsletter library, free Estate Planning Channel on Youtube and sign up for a
Also serving the following communities South of Boston;
Quincy, Milton, Braintree, Randolph, Holbrook, Weymouth, Scituate, Norwell,
Hingham, Cohasset, Hull, Hanover, Pembroke, Duxbury, Marshfield, Plymouth,
Rockland, Hanson, Halifax, Plympton, Carver, Abington, Whitman, Kingston
This article is not intended to provide legal or tax advice
or create or imply an attorney-client relationship. No information contained
herein is a substitute for a personal consultation with an attorney.