What Are the Important Documents Everyone Over Age Eighteen Should Have?


Are you a parent or grandparent to someone over eighteen years old? Do you know who would make certain decisions on this young adult's behalf if they were unable to make the decision for themselves? The answer to this question depends on what documents your adult child or adult grandchild has in place. There are three legal documents that everyone over the age of eighteen should have and they are what we collectively call the "Incapacity Documents." If your child or grandchild is over eighteen, the law considers them an adult, and as an adult, only they can make decisions for themselves, unless they or the court give someone else that authority.

A Durable General Power of Attorney is the document that states who is chosen to help your child or grandchild make financial and legal decisions during their life.

A Power of Attorney for Health Care is the document that states who is chosen to make a medical decision if your child or grandchild is unable to do so.

A document that goes hand-in-hand with the Power of Attorney for Health Care, is the Directive to Physicians. A Directive to Physicians, or a "Living Will", as it is more commonly known, is the document that states your child's or grandchild's wishes for end of life situations.

With these three documents, whether your child or grandchild is incapacitated, unconscious, or simply not available, they (and you) can have peace of mind knowing who is making decisions on their behalf. You are asking them to take control of potential life outcomes. You can rest easy knowing that if your child or grandchild cannot make an important decision at some point, that power will be in the capable hands of someone your child or grandchild trusts.

If you are interested in learning more about planning for young adults (on behalf of your child or grandchild), Rehberg Law Group is hosting a webinar on February 17, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. on this topic. If you have any questions about incapacity documents or about the upcoming webinar, please call Rehberg Law Group at 206.246.8772.

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