Should You Have a POA for Your Adult Child?
Updated: Jan 21, 2021
August 1, 2019
By Bill Root
When your child turns 18, you are still mom and dad, but in the eyes of the law, you lose the right to make health care and financial decisions for them if you do not have the legal authority to do so. That means if a young adult is in an accident and becomes disabled, even temporarily, a parent will need probate court approval to be the child’s legal guardian in order to act on his or her behalf. It is easy to avoid this “living probate” process by having your adult child grant you the authority to act on his or her behalf with a financial power of attorney and health care advanced directives. The risk is real.
Recent statistics indicate that accidents are the leading cause of death for young adults, and a quarter-million Americans between 18 and 25 are hospitalized with nonlethal injuries each year.
We suggest you contact your estate planning attorney to meet with you and your young adult to discuss these matters and have documents completed. Once completed, you should save them to your computer so they can be emailed to necessary medical providers or financial institutions when your young adult requires your parental assistance.