This year, sending a child off to college probably looks like none other. But it’s still equally important to do the necessary planning to ensure you’ve protected them, as well as you, in the event that you are the person they choose to make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated.
As a parent, you won’t necessarily be able to step in and handle matters for them unless they legally authorize you to do so. This could include things like renewing their insurance policies, filing their tax returns, initiating a lawsuit on their behalf or accessing their bank account to pay bills.
This requires a power of attorney. A power of attorney is a document that allows another person to act as your agent and conduct business on your behalf. And yes, if you have an 18-year old college student in your family, you will need a power of attorney to handle these types of activities for them. There are many types of powers of attorney including a healthcare power of attorney and a financial power of attorney. A healthcare power of attorney appoints an agent to make medical decisions on behalf of the creator, whereas a financial power of attorney addresses more of the issues mentioned above.
If you do not have a power of attorney and become incapacitated, your loved ones would have to file for guardianship to handle your financial and legal affairs. This can be a very complicated and frustrating process and it is one that is easily avoided by scheduling a consultation with an estate planning lawyer in Plymouth, MI.