It’s that moment every parent has been waiting for. The little bird has flown the nest, now it is time to how high they will fly. Perhaps they are off to college, a new career across the country, or maybe your just happy they are finally out of your house. Regardless of the situation, one thing you probably have not thought about is, what happens if something happens. The truth is, while you had all the parent power in the world before they turned 18, as far as the world is concerned, you have no ability to act on their behalf now. That is why having your young adult children execute a Power of Attorney in your favor can be so critical in preparing for your child to leave the nest.
A Power of Attorney, often referred to simply as a POA, is a document that will allow you the legal authority to make financial and legal decisions on your child’s behalf. Without one of these documents in place, should your child be unable to manage their affairs for any reason, you would have a very difficult time taking any action on their behalf.
It is important to make sure your child understands, the purpose of giving you a Power of Attorney is not to give up control of their life or so you can take control. The purpose is only so in the event something happens, you are able to make that decision on their behalf. Let’s go over a couple of examples to illustrate why this how the POA works and why it can be helpful to have for your minor children.
EXAMPLE 1 – Lease Termination of a Sick Child
Bob’s daughter Leslie was in her second year of college and had her own apartment, along with a one-year lease. Unfortunately, Leslie got into a car accident with a drunk driver and now she will need a lot of physical therapy as well as time to heal. Bob wants her to move home during the recovery, so he goes to cancel the Lease on Leslie’s place. Low and behold he doesn’t have a power of attorney, and the only person allowed to cancel the lease is sitting in a hospital bed right now, unable to do anything. With a POA for his daughter, Bob would have been able to resolve the problem and cancel the lease then and there.
EXAMPLE 2 – Child is out of The Country
Allie’s son Robby is excited to be spending the year abroad studying in Spain. Halfway through the trip however his great uncle Robert happened to pass away. Being in Spain it has been very hard for Robby to coordinate anything for the inheritance he received. Luckily, because Allie had his power of Attorney, she was able to hand everything and make sure the proper accounts were set up.
These are just a few examples of how having a POA for your young adult children can be instrumental to making sure your family is taken care of no matter what happens. It does not prevent bad things from happening, but a properly executed Power of Attorney does make the problems more manageable as they arise. If you would like to have us assist you with drafting a Power of Attorney for your children, give us a call at (954) 603-7603, and be sure to ask your attorney about our “Adult Child Package” which contains a Power of Attorney and Designation of Healthcare Surrogate for your adult children.