A lot of people reduce the concept of estate planning to a purely financial matter. You use a will, or perhaps a trust, to state your final wishes, and that’s the end of it.
In reality, there are other relevant facets to take into consideration. This definitely enters the picture when it comes to estate planning for young adults.
Health Care Decision Making and Access to Records
When you understand all the facts, you will immediately recognize why it is important to work with your adult child to put the appropriate protection plan in place. This will center around documents that address possible health care scenarios.
Why is this important when parents can legally make medical decisions for teenagers that are still dependent? The answer is that young people are no longer children in the eyes of the law once they reach the age of 18. This can yield some significant consequences under certain circumstances.
Let’s say that your son, that has recently reached this adult age threshold, is in a very serious car accident. The hospital would notify you about the tragic incident, so you would not be left out in the cold on that level.
However, they would not be able to share details about his medical condition. This is because the privacy of all adults is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). To account for this, a comprehensive plan will include a release form signed by your child that gives doctors permission to share the medical information with you.
This preemptive plan should also include a durable power of attorney for health care that gives you the right to make decisions on behalf of your son in the event of his incapacity. A living will is another advance directive that would be included. Your son would use this document to state his choices with regard to the utilization of life-sustaining measures.
Zimmer Law Firm Young Adult Protection Plan
We feel strongly about this subject, because it is absolutely devastating to be prevented from knowing exactly what is happening with your child. The lack of decision-making authority is another heart breaker under these circumstances.
Our firm has developed a trademarked Young Adult Protection Plan that is custom crafted to address the needs of families that want to be fully prepared. It includes an In Case of Emergency Card (ICE), a living will, a durable power of attorney, and a HIPAA release form.
All of the information is ultimately stored at DocuBank. They will issue a card that your child can carry at all times. A hospital would understand how to proceed by reading the directions on the card, and whenever the card is processed, you would be contacted.
If you would like to learn more about this turnkey solution, visit our Young Adult Protection Plan page.
Parents of Young Children
Before we close out this post, we should touch upon the extreme importance of estate planning for younger adults that have dependent children.
Unfortunately, studies show that a significant majority of Americans that are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s have no estate planning documents in place. Obviously, people usually do not pass away when they are this young, but accidents and catastrophic illnesses strike each and every day.
Most young families rely on two incomes to maintain a comfortable standard of living. Where would your family be if you were to pass away without a lot of warning? The emotional loss would be indescribable, and it could be compounded by financial hardships.
How you can approach this in your estate plan will vary depending on your financial capabilities. This being stated, even if you do not have a lot to leave behind, life insurance can serve as the ideal income replacement vehicle.
An inheritance plan for younger parents should include the choice of a guardian as well. This can be a factor if both parents pass away together, and if you are a single parent, the matter is all the more pressing.
These are a couple of components, but there are other details that you can tie together if you put a proper estate plan in place.
We Are Here to Help!
Now is the time for action if you are unprepared from an estate planning perspective. You can send us a message to request a consultation appointment, and we can be reached by phone at 513-721-1513.
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