Who signs a young adult power of attorney form?
How old does my child have to be to sign?
When does a young adult POA start? Does it come to an end on its own?
Once it’s in place, can I change it?
These are all common questions people ask when filling out a power of attorney form for an adult child. If you’re thinking about completing one or have started but not finished the process yet, you may have asked these very questions yourself.
We’ve addressed common questions, such as who to name as an agent and how to select your home state, and now it’s time to tackle other questions people ask about how and when young adult POA forms become effective, when they end and how to change existing forms.
Who must sign a POA to make it valid?
Rules vary from one state to another regarding who must sign a power of attorney form. When you create a POA through Mama Bear Legal Forms, all state-specific instructions are included at the beginning of your documents, making it clear who must sign the document.
Generally speaking, for a health care power of attorney form, the young adult will sign the document, along with two unrelated witnesses and a notary public. For a financial power of attorney, usually only a notary public is required along with the young adult’s signature.
If you are completing a POA for a child and aren’t sure where he or she will be signing the documents, the signing portion may be left blank. When the child takes the forms to a notary public, the notary may handwrite the county and state of signing in the notary block portion of the document.
When does a young adult POA become effective?
The young adult signing the POA form must be a legal adult, aged 18 or 19, depending on their home state. As soon as the form is signed, it is effective.
Confusion sometimes comes in with when an agent’s power is effective. For healthcare POAs, the answer is simple – when a doctor says the person is incapacitated, the agent’s power to act becomes effective.
For a financial power of attorney, the agent can either have power to act when the form is signed, or when a doctor pronounces an individual incapacitated.
Knowing whether to make an agent’s power immediate often depends on how well the individual and agent know each other. When spouses create POA forms, for instance, they often name each other as agents with power to act immediately. The same is typically true of young adults naming their parents as agents. However, an individual does have the right to reserve the agent’s power to act until they become incapacitated if they wish.
While either option is suitable, the advantage to giving an agent immediate power to act comes in being able to help a young adult deal with creditors and other financial issues as they arise, rather than waiting for an incapacitation that may (hopefully) never come.
When do power of attorney forms end?
Powers of attorney don’t expire or come to an end on their own. Because of this, the forms only end if the signor revokes the power of attorney or passes away.
Most commonly, a young adult power of attorney form completed when an individual is 18 or 19 will come to an end when that young adult gets married or decides to name agents other than his or her parents on the form.
When a new form is signed with a new effective date, the old POA expires and the individual may notify the former agents of the change or revocation.
When should I change a POA? Is it easy?
Thankfully, making changes to a power of attorney form is easy. A new one can be created or changed at any time by simply signing an updated version. A good practice is to review a POA form every January and make any changes as necessary.
If there is no need to change agents or home states, put it back in the proverbial drawer until the next January, or until the need to change it arises.
If you create a POA for a young adult and several years later, your child decides to create their own, or wants to change the agent to a spouse, it is best for the child to create his or her own account and set up their own Power of Attorney forms.
Does my college student really need a POA? Am I just helicoptering?
Having dealt with the particulars of filling out a young adult POA form, let’s consider a more general question – why would you need a POA in the first place and is it overbearing to help your child put one in place? Many parents ask these questions, and they’re good ones.
A young adult power of attorney form is an essential legal document that all young people need when they reach 18 years of age. Helping your child create one is part of helping them become a mature and responsible adult. Powers of attorney are actions adults take as they begin planning for life and legally expressing their wishes so that their desires are reflected during emergencies.
Creating a young adult POA isn’t helicopter parenting; it’s empowering your child to begin thinking about estate planning and taking a proactive, responsible step to prepare for crises before they occur. Putting a POA in place now takes the catastrophe of becoming incapacitated without the power to name someone you trust to make life and death decisions for you off the table. What loving parent wouldn’t take that step?
Most parents assume that they have automatic authority to handle decisions for their adult children, should they encounter an unexpected illness or accident that leaves them incapacitated.
However, once a child turns 18, parents no longer have the authority to make medical or financial decisions for their children.
A power of attorney form and healthcare power of attorney form authorizes parents to help their adult children manage financial, legal and healthcare decisions as needed.
Without these critical forms in place, if your child suffers an accident or gets into debt while away at school, you will not be able to converse with banks, doctors or insurance companies on their behalf.
This is one powerful reason to put a power of attorney form in place for your child. Another reason is maturity. There may come a time when your child finds himself or herself in a situation that they are ill-equipped to handle.
It is easy to fall into credit card debt in college and common for college students to need help from parents to make the right financial moves to put themselves back on solid ground.
Without a power of attorney in place, parents are hamstrung as to how to help their children and hindered in their efforts to advocate for their best interests.
Every adult child should have a durable power of attorney for health care and the same for financial matters because these forms designate who is authorized to handle medical and financial decisions in an emergency or when a child gets in over their head.
Without these forms, a court may appoint a guardian or conservator for you. The court process can be complex and expensive. Power of attorney forms eliminate this concern.
Get Your POA Package Now
Are you ready to get your Young Adult POA Package? Mama Bear Legal Forms provides law firm quality, state-specific documents that are easy to create, simple to download and incredibly affordable.
Our Young Adult Package includes a power of attorney form that is legally valid in all states and includes guidance on how to complete your form.