Is your child about to turn 18?
Dear Clients, Friends and Colleagues:
Not long ago a local father called me in a panic. His son was driving a friend to college. They had gotten into a car crash, and the son was in a coma in another state. The hospital was telling him that decisions needed to be made about the son’s treatment, but Dad wasn’t allowed to make them without a “guardianship order” from a court.
Like many parents, Dad didn’t realize that when his son turned 18, all of his familiar rights as a father were terminated. Without your child’s consent in the form of a “durable power of attorney,” banks, schools, and doctors won’t even discuss their bills, grades, or medical conditions with you – let alone allow you to make decisions – even if they are unable to speak for themselves.
Imagine, in a medical emergency, having to go through an expensive, slow and frightening court process – potentially, in multiple states – just to be allowed to make healthcare decisions for your own child. You may still be making their dinner, doing their laundry, and supporting them financially, but the courts recognize them as completely autonomous individuals whose rights to self-determination have to be defended – including from their own parents.
We all carry insurance not because we expect an accident, but to be covered in case we have one. A power of attorney is the insurance that prevents the expense, delay and uncertainty of a court-supervised guardianship lawsuit.
Call our office today to make an appointment for your child before they leave home again.
If they come to see us before August 30, 2014, we’ll prepare their Health Care Power of Attorney for $99 – and if you don’t have a child , we’ll honor this offer for friends or acquaintances you refer to us.
Please click on the Seminars button at the top of the screen to see the list of upcoming opportunities to hear me speak on this and other estate-planning topics.