Florida Estate Planning and Probate Law Blog focused on recent case law and planning ideas.

ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS - DONT LET YOUR CHILDREN LEAVE HOME WITHOUT THEIRS IN PLACE

Becoming an empty nester and watching your child(ren) leave the home (for school or a job) can be difficult emotionally. Reality is that when a child reaches the age of 18 they are a legal adult, even though they may still depend on you for financial and emotional support. Most parents are surprised to learn that once a child turns age 18 they are not legally permitted to make financial or medical decisions on their behalf, or even be notified if their child is in the hospital emergency room. To avoid this from happening, it is important to have your child(ren) create their own estate planning documents (Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate and Living Will). Estate planning documents are not just for the older generation. These documents will provide authority and allow a parent or family member to step in, when a child needs financial or medical assistance and the child is unable to make such decisions for themselves. Alternatively, a parent will have to commence a guardianship proceeding to obtain legal authority to assist the child. Having your child(ren) execute these documents once they reach age 18 and before they leave home will provide you with piece of mind.