Benefits of Becoming a POA for Your Adult Children

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Do you have a teenager who’s becoming a legal adult soon? Watching your child turn 18 is a bittersweet feeling. They are finally legal adults, capable of making their own decisions. They no longer need you for educational, health-related, or financial matters. While they are now independent, it can be difficult for parents to let go. You still want to protect your child and step into action whenever they need help.

However, due to a lack of legal custody, this can be a problem. Once 18, our kids (in the eyes of the law) are fully capable adults with the freedoms to vote, sign contracts, and get married; but when it comes to their healthcare, parents lose the ability to help with medical decisions or access records. What happens if there’s an emergency and your young adult can’t decide for themselves?

To continue managing your children’s affairs after they turn 18, we highly recommend you update your estate plan to become a POA for your adult child. Becoming a POA helps parents step in and take care of their matters in the case of an emergency or when they need your assistance. 

We frequently receive questions at 23 Legal about updating estate plans once the kids are grown. Typically, these questions are about a power of attorney or health care proxy. Attorney Ben Weaver is here to share everything parents need to know about becoming a POA, why it is beneficial for many families, and how you can become one for your children. Let’s dive in!

Understanding the Power of Attorney (POA)

What’s a Power of Attorney? How can this designation come in handy? A Power of Attorney (POA) gives parents the legal right to make decisions for their kids. The agent can be anybody – guardians, grandparents, or godparents, not just parents. You will also need a medical power of attorney to become a health proxy for your children. It enables parents to make medical decisions for their children and access their medical records in case of an emergency.

There are many different kinds of Power of Attorneys. It varies depending on the situation at hand. The most common ones:

General Power of Attorney

Agents can make decisions from the onset until the principal is incapacitated and cannot do so themself.

Durable Power of Attorney

Agents can make decisions, even when the principal can’t do so.

Springing Power Of Attorney

The agent can only make decisions if the principal is incapacitated and cannot make themself.

POA for Your Adult Children

Steps to Becoming a POA for Your Adult Children

Thinking of becoming a POA and healthcare proxy for your children? Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to update your estate plan and get the POA:

Have the Talk

Before you start the process, have an honest conversation with your children. Some children are hesitant about giving their parents control over their matters. Make your intentions clear from the start and explain how becoming their POA is for their well-being. Explain what your role will be and when you may intervene and take action.

Consult an Estate Planning Attorney

Work with an experienced real estate attorney like Ben Weaver. Speak to your attorney about what you want from becoming a POA. Learn more about organizing your estate, your family’s goals, and how you can update your estate plan to benefit your children. A licensed attorney at 23 Legal can help you create a tailored plan to suit your family’s needs.

Draft the POA Documents

With the help of your attorney, they can draft the necessary POA legal documents. While the healthcare POA is often more important, you may want a general POA too. Whatever your requirements are, ensure all documents are in place and all legal formalities are met.

Select the Right Agent

As a healthcare proxy, you will have the authority to make medical decisions for your child. If you’ll be gone for a long time, it’s a good idea to choose someone who can be with your child. This person could be a guardian, godparent, or grandparent. Involve your child in the process so they are aware of what is happening. They should be well-versed with the agreement and need to consent to it.

Witness and Notarize

This is a legal requirement and needs to be met as per the rules of the state. Your real estate attorney will guide you through the process and ensure that your new documents are legally binding in Illinois.

Give copies of the POA documents to your child’s healthcare providers. Make sure they know your role and can contact you in a medical emergency.

The Benefits of Parents Being a POA for Their Adult Children

It’s pretty clear how becoming a POA for your children has many benefits. But for children, it can be difficult to understand that having a POA benefits them too. Here are some advantages of having an updated estate plan for both parties:

For The Parents
  • Peace of mind knowing that you can make financial and medical decisions for your children in case they are unable to do so.
  • Ability to be there for your children in case of emergencies and direct the best healthcare facilities for them.
  • Know your child’s medical history and what is best for them. You can continue to help provide care.
  • Taking care of your child’s finances or healthcare decisions can be delayed and be subject to legal issues without a POA. With a POA, you can take matters into your own hands quickly in case of any emergencies.
For the Adult Children
  • In case you are incapacitated or unable to make your decisions, you will be taken care of well by someone you trust. As healthcare proxies, your agents can step in and ensure you get the best care.
  • Rest knowing your financial interests are also safe in a situation where you are unable to coherently oversee them. Otherwise, without a POA, they may be subject to external influence.
  • With a POA, your parents can schedule medical appointments with your healthcare providers, saving you the hassle.
  • If you have a bank account in your hometown, as your POA, your parents can make transactions and pay bills as your agent. As you struggle with jobs and education as a young adult, your parents can step in and take care of all these mundane tasks for you.

Incorporating POA into Your Estate Plan

Signing up as your children’s POA requires you to update your estate plan. Revising your living will, trusts, and other estate planning documents can be complex, that’s why we always suggest working with a reputable attorney! Also keep in mind, the POA is not the only estate planning instrument to ensure your children’s wellbeing long-term.

An experienced estate planning lawyer in Illinois (like Ben Weaver) can help you create and update an estate plan that aligns with your current lifestyle, future goals, and unique needs. Many people think they don’t need an estate plan until they retire, but that couldn’t be further from the truth!

The earlier you plan, the more prepared you’ll be and the more you will benefit. There’s no better time than the present to protect your future! If you’re looking into estate planning and don’t know where or how to begin, you’ve come to the right place.

We invite you to reach out. Need help with establishing powers of attorney, creating a living trust, or managing your estate? 23 Legal is ready to help. Attorney Ben Weaver is a licensed real estate attorney in Illinois with years of experience helping local Chicagoland families with their estate planning needs. Connect with us to get started today!

“Great experience working with Ben Weaver…highly knowledgeable and good customer service. Highly recommended!” Client Testimonial

Ready to become a POA for your young adult? We’ll make it easy!

Update your estate plan with 23 Legal(847) 447-6004

Why Choose 23 Legal

23 Legal offers Real Estate and Estate Planning legal services to individuals, families, community associations and small business owners throughout Chicagoland. We know how intimidating “the law” can be. In fact, when most people think of law offices, they think of stuffy leather chairs, huge wooden desks and pompous lawyers who charge outrageous fees. That’s not us! We believe in 1-to-1; the same lawyer should work with you all the way through. Whether you have an estate planning issue, family trust concern, or you have a legal problem in regard to a new home, business, real estate or remodel, you need a lawyer who cares. That’s where Ben comes in! We are great listeners; more than that, we are lawyers who believe that our clients always come first.

Attorney Ben Weaver is an expert in Real Estate Law for Arlington Heights, Prospect Heights, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Glenview, Park Ridge, Wheeling and the surrounding communities.

Contact Ben Weaver to become a Power of Attorney (POA)!

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