When your child turns 18 and is no longer legally a minor — gulp! — estate planning can help you continue to support their spreading wings.
Whether your young adult child is embarking on an exciting journey after high school or celebrating their 18th birthday milestone, this is a perfect time to engage in an important conversation that may not be top-of-mind: estate planning. While the term might seem daunting — especially for a young adult — the process is a crucial and empowering step to set them on a positive path toward a safe and secure future. Making thoughtful decisions can protect your newly minted young adult and give you as parents the ability to help them during the next phase of their journey.
Ensuring Clarity in Critical Situations
Life is unpredictable, and while we all hope for the best, it’s wise to be prepared for the unexpected. Estate planning documents, like powers of attorney and healthcare directives, can help ensure your young adults’ wishes are respected in case of unpredictable and unforeseen circumstances.
A healthcare directive will allow your child to appoint a health care agent to make decisions on their behalf. This is essential because in most states, parents can no longer discuss their child’s medical care with doctors or make decisions on their behalf once they turn 18. A properly executed healthcare directive will help with that.
Similarly, once a child turns 18, parents can no longer manage their young adult’s finances without a power of attorney in place, making this another important document. These documents provide peace of mind during challenging situations that may arise in your young adult’s life.
Building Financial Literacy
Estate planning discussions can also serve as an opportunity to impart valuable financial literacy lessons. This conversation can be an opportunity to discuss budgeting, financial responsibility, and the importance of thoughtful decision-making with your young adult. By involving them in the process, you’re equipping them with skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Empathy and Compassion
Estate planning isn’t just about legalities; it’s about expressing love and care for one another. We encourage open conversations between parents and young adult children about end-of-life preferences, financial matters, and personal values. This exercise fosters deeper connections within your family, allowing you to understand and respect each other’s wishes. It also demonstrates to your children how to plan for the unexpected and gives both of you security as your kids leave the nest and try out new adventures, places, and experiences.
As your young adult children celebrate their 18th birthdays and venture into life beyond high school and out of your home, engaging in estate planning discussions is an essential and positive step. By embracing this milestone, you’re setting your family on a path of preparedness, empowerment, and meaningful connections.
Remember, estate planning isn’t about fearing the worst; it’s about preparing for life’s uncertainties with a sense of responsibility, empathy, and hope. And those are certainly traits you want to pass on to the next generation!
Schromen Law, LLC has worked with many young adults to establish documents when they wish to ensure that their parents can still support them in times of need. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute an attorney-client relationship between Schromen Law, LLC and the reader. The information contained herein is not offered as legal advice and should not be construed as legal advice.