You might find it hard to believe that your little child who once needed you for everything has become - overnight - an adult when he/she turns 18 (in most states). Your child is now able to vote, marry, apply for a credit card, make financial and medical decisions, sign contracts, and live independently. There is no wonder that this coming of age is called "emancipation."
After 18 Your Child Must Make You an Agent In Financial Power of Attorney
In money matters, you will not be permitted access to your adult child’s bank accounts unless your child has made you an agent in a financial power of attorney. Even if you’re paying for your child’s education, schools are not permitted to release educational records without a signed “FERPA” disclosure statement when your child reaches majority.
Becoming an adult is a major milestone. Your child’s 18th birthday would be a good time to explain about paying bills, getting a copy of the child’s social security card and birth certificate, living independently, registering to vote, and signing contracts to rent apartments, for example, or make major purchases like a car. Remember to include the powers of an attorney in that discussion. They are invaluable when your adult child needs you, at a stressful time when you do not want to hear any “no’s.” Powers of attorney could save you and your child delay, heartache, and expense.
If Your Child Is In An Accident
But if your adult child is hurt in an accident and needs somebody to make critical medical decisions, you cannot be the one to do that without your child having named you as power of attorney, even if you’re still paying for your child’s health insurance. If that child is so injured that a guardian is needed, you would not automatically be that person.
Court proceedings would be required and those are expensive and time-consuming. A health care power of attorney would avoid that headache and would give you the standing you need, in one efficient document.
Schedule a Consultation Today with our New York Estate Planning Attorney
We would be happy to help you or your child with the proper powers of attorney, as well as other planning needs that become more urgent as we grow older. We know that dealing with legal issues affecting your family can be stressful, but we will proactively work to provide you with peace of mind as you move forward. If you’re in need of assistance with a divorce or family law concern, contact us today at 718-233-2903 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.