Why Your Adult Child Should Give You Powers of Attorney
Most of our clients understand the importance of their powers of attorney, keeping them up to date and naming the persons you would trust to act in your behalf in the event of your incapacity.
Although accidents to our children, resulting in their incapacity, do not happen often, they do happen. For minor children, those under the age of 18, you as the parent have the right to act on behalf of an incapacitated child. However, once a child reaches age 18, the child is “emancipated,” meaning the child may act for himself or herself and you, even as the parent, have no right to act on behalf of a child who has reached age 18.
Without Proper Documents
Where proper documents are not in place, in cases where an over-18 child has an accident or illness and becomes incapacitated, it becomes necessary for the parent to petition the court to appoint the parent the guardian for the incapacitated child.
Guardianship proceedings are not only expensive, but they require ongoing reports to the court.
With Powers of Attorney
To deal with the possibility of a child’s incapacity, we recommend to our clients that, when the child reaches age 18, the child should execute a financial power of attorney and a health care power of attorney. Such powers of attorney, once executed, will allow the parents, when necessary, to act on the child’s behalf without going through the guardianship process.
With these important documents, if it should happen that a child is unable to act for himself or herself, you as the parent will have the authority to act for the child under the financial/legal power of attorney and to make health care decisions for the child, if necessary.
Call our experienced attorneys today if you have questions on how we can help you set up powers of attorney or request a free consultation.