Monthly Archives: May 2012

Parents of teenage and young adult children: protect your children’s legal needs as young adults (and protect yourself, too).

Often overlooked by parents are important legal needs of their children who are turning 18 and those who are young adults. Yet each of the following parental concerns can be easily handled for California residents:

  1. Once 18, who will make medical decisions for the then adult child if the child becomes unable to give informed consent to medical decisions? Avoid the problems of the Terri Schiavo case and avoid a court conservatorship of the person by having your young adult child (18 or older) sign an Advance Health Care Directive. (See my post http://pleasantonestateplanninglawyer.com/blog/protect-your-health-care-decision-making-with-an-advance-health-care-directive )
  2. Once 18, who will manage the then adult child’s financial affairs if the child becomes unable to sign what is needed? Avoid a court conservatorship of the estate by having your adult child sign a durable general power of attorney. (See my post http://pleasantonestateplanninglawyer.com/blog/who-would-the-court-appoint-as-your-conservator-to-manage-your-financial-affairs and http://pleasantonestateplanninglawyer.com/blog/a-durable-general-power-of-attorney-is-an-essential-component-of-an-estate-plan-complimenting-a-living-trust
  3. Who would manage and inherit whatever assets the young adult owns? Avoid the cost and uncertainty of a court probate proceeding by having your child sign a will (and, if appropriate, a living trust or TOD/POD accounts). (See my posts  http://pleasantonestateplanninglawyer.com/blog/no-will-who-has-legal-priority-to-be-your-probate-administrator-without-one and  http://pleasantonestateplanninglawyer.com/blog/avoiding-probate-simply-with-payable-on-death-bank-accounts-pod-and-transfer-on-death-brokerage-accounts-tod
  4. Who should own the car that the child drives? Consult with your casualty insurance broker and compare the additional cost of insurance with just your child being the sole owner of the car with the benefits of reducing your exposure by you not being the owner of the car that your child drives (especially if your plan is to have your child own that car “when the time is right”).
  5. What liability insurance should the parent have on that car (if the parent decides to own that car) and how much of a liability umbrella policy should the parent have? Consult with your  casualty insurance broker to protect your estate, as your estate can be liable for damages caused by your child’s operation of your car. (See my post http://pleasantonestateplanninglawyer.com/blog/avoid-losses-and-protect-yourself-from-lawsuits-review-all-your-insurance-coverage-annually
  6. What liability insurance should the child have? Consult with your casualty insurance broker.
  7. Help your adult child obtain and maintain proper health insurance coverage, especially once the child leaves your health insurance policy.