Recommended Documents for Kids Turning 18


In this episode of Berry’s Bites, Chris Berry answers the question: What are the recommended documents for those turning 18 years old?


Estate Attorney and Advisor Chris Berry of Castle Wealth Group answers questions on retirement and estate planning every Wednesday at 1pm. Register via this link or give our office a call at 844-885-4200.

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Episode Transcript:


What are the recommended documents for those about to turn 18 years old?


So this is a very good question right now because my kids actually today my son’s going to a new school because he graduated and they put seventh and eighth grade together so he’s like at this intermediary school. But this is his first time going today so everyone’s going back to school soon. My kids are going back next week which is crazy mid-august but the kids are graduating and going to school they’re turning 18.

So keep in mind prior to 18 in Michigan they’re a minor they can’t execute documents you’re their parents or guardian you make all the legal decisions for them once they turn 18 that actually ends so even though you’re the parent at age 18 if they were to have some type of accidents be injured away at school and I’ve seen this happen you don’t have access to the medical records you can’t make medical decisions for them the doctors can’t share that medical information.

I actually had a colleague of mine who didn’t do any planning for his kids she was 21 over at grand valley and got in an accident and he couldn’t get any information because she hadn’t done any powers of attorney. And so especially with the hip authorization these days they can’t share that private medical information so if you have someone who’s 18 or a young adult who maybe is not married doesn’t have kids, doesn’t even think about estate planning for themselves.

There are two things you need and we call these disability documents anyone over the age of 18 needs these two disability documents and the first thing is a medical power of attorney so this is the document pointing you as the parents to be able to make medical decisions for the individual god forbid you would have to and then the other is the financial power attorney so if they get a knock in their head being able to pay their bills getting access to their medical information because that’s typically where the HIPAA authorization is found is not only in the medical power of attorney but also the financial power attorney.

So if you do have a child who’s turning 18 they have to sign these after they’re 18. so you can’t sign them when they’re 17 but you have to have the kids sign it when they’re 18 because that’s the age of majority in Michigan so they should have that financial power of attorney and the medical of attorney typically appointing you as the parents to be able to do that the rest of this question what if they should go to college outside of Michigan do they need to change it not really because chances are they’re going to come back chances are they probably use the home as a mailing address so they wouldn’t have to change it and just keep in mind having something is better than nothing so and that’s super easy so if you do have children turning age 18 just give us a call we’ll draft up the documents very cost-effective and the kids typically don’t care so you just kind of grab their ear and make them hey sign this god forbid something happens when you go away to school we’ll be able to help you so hopefully that was helpful.

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