It’s a weekend afternoon and you’re overcome by the smell of fresh cut grass and burgers on the grill. Balloons are tied to mailboxes, backyard tents are filling with people and neighborhood streets are lined with parked cars. The sounds of laughter give way to the blare of late-night music.

It doesn’t need to be your child to recognize the smells, sights and sounds of a graduation picnic. Yes, this is the time of year when many high school graduates are congratulated on the successes they have accomplished and celebrate opportunities that lie ahead. Before those same graduates prepare to move away from home and begin their future, a parental pep-talk about safety, responsibility and financial management will undoubtedly take place.

But are they really ready? Have you discussed the important legal documents every young adult needs to have once they turn 18?

No one wants to consider unfortunate events that could lead to a place of vulnerability, such as a car accident or health emergency. But regardless of whether your graduate is college bound, heading out into the world or crashing in your basement for a while, having the following documents in place can eliminate frustration and create peace of mind if confronted with an unforeseen circumstance.

Permission to Speak Letter

This document is a simple letter of authorization granting approval for an individual to speak on your child’s behalf. Many colleges require a letter of this nature to be on file prior to discussing grades or a student’s finances with you, as the parent, or other personal representative your child designates.

HIPAA Release Form

This authorization grants health care providers permission to share your child’s private health information protected under Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) with individuals of his or her choice, including parents.

Durable Power of Attorney

This document allows your child to designate someone to act on his or her behalf in finance and healthcare matters, including instances when the child may be incapacitated.

Advance Health Care Directive (Living Will)

A living will is a written expression of your child’s wishes concerning life-sustaining procedures in terminal illness and imminent death.

Certainly no one wants to consider a situation when any of these items would be necessary, especially for your child. However, drafting and executing these documents is a simple way to be prepared in the event of an unfortunate occurrence.

Contact Jill Branthoover to learn more about this topic.
330.255.2126 |

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