My personal example is representative of steps parents should take when their children turn eighteen. Despite the person still being your child, and perhaps in high school still, upon turning eighteen the child is now classified as an adult.
The significance of your child being an adult? Well, the ability to buy cigarettes and gamble are notable, but of greater concern is that parents' authority to access information and have input is now reduced to nil.
The remedy for this new legal problem lies in two legal documents: A Power of Attorney and a Health Care Directive. The Power of Attorney ("POA") permits the parents to access financial information and make financial decisions for the child. The Health Care Directive ("HCD") permits the parents to access health care information and speak for the child if the child cannot speak for him or herself.
The POA and HCD are most commonly thought of in the context of elderly citizens. But, they are equally important for our young children who are deemed adults in the eyes of the law, but whom we all know are not yet ready to be completely independent of Mom & Dad. Keep taking care of your children and get their signatures on a POA and HCD!
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