My Baby is An Adult?!Submitted by Prosperity Advisory Group on June 20th, 2018
by Angela Brill
In this season of graduations, several of us at Prosperity have high school seniors who are graduating and moving on to college. As financial advisors, we are well-versed in the knowledge that while we think of our 18-year-olds as still kids, the legal world does not. In Kansas, the age of majority is 18. At 18, the young adult is no longer considered a minor and is considered an adult in the eyes of the law.
Young people readily think of 18 when you could enlist in the army, get a tattoo, buy cigarettes, vote, or no longer be considered a juvenile in the court system. Parents think of those things too. However, a frequently overlooked part of a minor turning 18 is that they are now considered adults for financial and health-care decision-making.
Recently, I experienced an occasion where my 18-year-old son had a doctor’s appointment (which I had scheduled), and the doctor’s office called my phone to confirm some preliminary information with me. They wouldn't talk to me about the appointment because I did not have a Power of Attorney. So, they called him in class at high school (which I’m sure wasn't a good experience for anyone involved). That was no big deal – just a minor annoyance. But if you have a young adult in your family that needs medical attention (here, away at college or on Spring Break, for example), it can be a very big deal. The same applies for financial matters.
Needless to say, I now have both healthcare power of attorney and general durable power of attorney (financial) for my college-age children. My (now “our”) estate planning attorney drafted them, and it was painless, educational and empowering for the “boys” (as I still call them). Now my son just tells the doctor’s office when he’s in math class, “Would you please call my mom? She has power of attorney”. Now, that’s an adult talking!
Proper estate planning is as important a part of your financial planning as saving. If you do not have an estate planning attorney and would like a referral, please call our office at any time. We are happy to help, and are eager to with all matters that pertain to your children growing into capable adults!