There are many ways of celebrating your child’s 18th birthday. One valuable gift you as parents could get them is their first estate plan. Turning 18 marks the point where a child or minor becomes an adult in the eyes of the law.
Why does an 18-year-old need an estate plan if they have no assets?
Your child may wonder why they need an estate plan if they have hardly any assets. The reason is that if something happens to them, you as parents no longer have the automatic authority to make decisions on their behalf.
All adults need a health care directive
Imagine your child has a serious car crash. A few days ago, you would have told the doctor what treatment you were happy for them to receive. Now that your child is an adult, you need to seek a court’s permission. All adults should create a healthcare directive to clarify any treatment they do and do not want.
All adults need a power of attorney
Your child can opt to give you or someone else the authority to make health care decisions for them. This needs them to create a power of attorney. They should also name someone who can sign forms for them or make financial decisions if an accident or illness leaves them unable to. They can give one person overall power of attorney or name one for healthcare and another for financial matters.
Most 18-year-olds are not interested in spending time or money on creating an estate plan. They may not even know what one is. Helping them create one will set them on a good course. They can update it as often as they wish when they find a partner, buy their first home and pass other significant milestones.