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Should My High School Graduate Have a Durable Power of Attorney?


Parents work incredibly hard. You’ve cared for, clothed, fed, protected, and encouraged your child who just graduated from high school. Perhaps your child is heading off to university far away, joining the military or staying at home to figure out what comes next. In any case, it is wise to consider what legal documents your adult teenage child might need. Every American age 18 and older will benefit from creating a health care surrogate and durable power of attorney document no matter what his situation is after high school.

Why Does My 18 Year Old Need Estate Planning Documents?

Even if your 18-year-old does not have any personal assets and lives at home with you, he can still benefit from estate planning documents. If your 18-year-old needs help, these legal documents will ensure that your child’s wishes are fulfilled.

Even if you have a close relationship with your teenager, when he turns 18, he is an independent, legal adult. You no longer have any automatic legal rights on your child’s behalf. You will not have a legal right to access your child’s health information if he is injured. This is the case even if he is part of your health insurance plan.

What Legal Estate Planning Documents Should My 18-Year-Old Child Create?

A Florida health care surrogate designation is a legal document in which your child names another person to act as his legal health care surrogate. The person he appoints can make decisions on his behalf if he becomes incapacitated. Your child may choose you or your spouse as the health care surrogate. If he does so, you will be able to make medical decisions on his behalf.

Typically, federal HIPAA health privacy laws prevent people from accessing another person’s medical information. If your child includes a waiver of HIPAA rights, you will be able to access your child’s health information if he is ill or hospitalized.

Your child should also create a Florida based durable power of attorney for any financial issues that might arise. Your child may need you to pay an overdue bill from his checking account when he is out of town or out of the country. He may become ill or incapacitated, and you might need to access his information. With a durable power of attorney, your child will allow you to act as his agent. You’ll be able to make decisions for him without risking personal liability for his financial matters. This power of attorney will also allow you to hire an attorney on his behalf if he’s incapacitated.

An Experienced Florida Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You  

If you’re concerned with being able to help your 18-year-old if he becomes incapacitated in Florida, we are here to help. We can help your adult child create a will, health care surrogate designation, and a durable power of attorney. Contact the Saint Petersburg estate planning attorneys at Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP today for your consultation.




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