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9 Legal Documents Adults Need. Preparing for When Your Child Turns 18.

When your child turns 18, they officially become adults in the eyes of the law. As adults, it is time to prepare the 9 Legal Documents Adults need. Yes, we realize this is not what an 18-year-old wants to think about at this time in life. However, while this transition is often marked by newfound independence and responsibilities, it requires various essential legal documents. These documents are necessary to protect your new adult’s rights and well-being. Here is a list, along with some essential information, regarding the 9 Legal Documents you should consider for your child’s coming of age:

1. Healthcare Power of Attorney: An important document, the healthcare medical power of attorney, allows your child to designate someone to make medical decisions on their behalf if they cannot do so. Thus, without this document, parents may not have access to their child’s medical information or the ability to make medical decisions for them once they turn 18.

2. Living Will: A living will outlines your child’s preferences for end-of-life medical treatment. It ensures their wishes regarding life-sustaining treatments and organ donation are respected in case they cannot communicate their desires.

3. Durable Financial Power of Attorney: This document grants someone the authority to manage your child’s financial affairs if they cannot do so themselves. Therefore, it can help you handle financial matters such as paying bills, managing bank accounts, or signing contracts.

4. HIPAA Authorization: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) restricts disclosing an adult’s medical information. To grant parents access to their medical records and information, your child should sign a HIPAA authorization form.

5. Will and Estate Planning: While young adults may not have substantial assets, it’s still wise to create a simple will. Consequently, this document specifies how their assets should be distributed upon death, ensuring their wishes are honored.

6. FERPA Release: If your child is attending college, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) restricts access to their educational records. Therefore, a FERPA release allows parents to receive academic information and communicate with the college.

7. Bank Account Access: Ensure your child designates someone who can access their bank accounts in an emergency. Financial institutions may have specific forms for this purpose.

8. Digital Estate Plan: In the digital age, it’s essential to plan for your digital assets, including social media accounts, email, and online financial accounts. Therefore, your child can specify how they want these accounts managed or closed.

9. Selective Service Registration: Males in the United States must register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of turning 18. Failure to do so can result in the loss of various federal benefits and opportunities.

Turning 18 is a significant milestone that comes with unique legal responsibilities. Please encourage your child to consider these essential legal documents to protect their interests and ensure their medical and financial decisions are respected. And maintain open communication with them about these important matters. To learn more about the documents listed above, consider scheduling a consultation with us at Kane & Crowell. You can reach out to us at 615-784-4800. Or visit us online at kane-law.com.

Author

  • Angel Kane

    ANGEL KANE has been practicing law since 1995. Angel was a member of the University of Memphis Law Review and served as a judicial law clerk while in law school. A graduate of the University of Memphis Law School, Angel has practiced in Memphis and Lebanon, Tennessee.

Family Law, Living Will, POA


Angel Kane

ANGEL KANE has been practicing law since 1995. Angel was a member of the University of Memphis Law Review and served as a judicial law clerk while in law school. A graduate of the University of Memphis Law School, Angel has practiced in Memphis and Lebanon, Tennessee.