“The main thrust of estate planning is shepherding assets to the next generation” (Lenok, 2015).
This is why it’s always a great time to begin estate planning for you and your children, if applicable. Children of legal age are recognized as independent adults (typically at ages 18 or 19 years, depending on your jurisdiction). Even though they may view themselves as immortal at this (still) young age, accidents can happen. So, it’s best to be prepared.
Lenok covers the typical three documents of estate planning that your young, adult children should obtain:
Will: This one is fairly self-explanatory. Everyone should have a will, even if they have little or no assets to pass on. Intestacy can be an unpredictable (and wasteful) beast and you never know when the child may unexpectedly come into some assets and be thankful that these documents are already in place. Further, it’s often much easier to convince a client to update an existing will than it is to convince him to write a new one, so getting the bare bones set out early on in the relationship can help lubricate future planning decisions.We can discuss the options with you in more detail. Call 205-789-9894 today to schedule a consultation.
Medical Directive: This document gives another individual authority to make medical decisions for the child if he’s somehow incapacitated. It’s probably the most important of the three. Now, convincing the child to sign this particular document is a story for another article, but the usual methods of convincing kids to do things they don’t want to (aka, rewards or punishments, depending on the child) largely apply.
Power of Attorney: Even though most 18- or 19-year-olds don’t have much in the way of personal assets, it’s still helpful to have this document in place so that someone can help a child manage his or her finances if, for some, reason, he/she can’t personally do so. This document acts largely in concert with the Medical Directive and will come into play in many of the same situations, but can also be useful by itself in some (admittedly corner case) scenarios.
Birmingham Estate Planning Attorney Richard Burton provides legal services in Estates, Wills & Trusts, Probate Administration, Guardianship and Conservatorship, Asset Protection Planning, Business Succession Planning, Federal & State Tax Planning, Charitable Giving & Private Foundations. Contact Richard at www.attorneyrichardburton.com or call (205) 789-9894..