September marks the return to school of many students, including university- and college-age students. While many of these young people have little in the way of assets, and thus do not have a great need for wills or other estate planning documents, they do need powers of attorney.
Without a power of attorney in place for your adult child, you would have no right to make long-term decisions about their health care should they be in an accident. You would also have no right to access any financial information to be able to pay your child’s bills. Being appointed a legal guardian takes time, and often requires a formal finding of incapacity; if your child is injured or ill but it will not be permanent, you do not want to have to petition the court to find him or her incapable.
A power of attorney is a simple document that will allow you to look after your child. Once your children turn 18, they should have them in place.