For many young adults, spring break is a time of fun and celebration with friends in warm, tropical places.
Maybe your child is taking a trip this spring break, or planning a service trip. Or, maybe you’re planning a family vacation to Daytona Beach or somewhere else enjoyable.
Now is the perfect time to make sure you have your legal documents in order, including a young adult power of attorney form and a will.
2 Important Legal Documents You Need for Spring Break
We’ve written about this before, but along with your passport, there are two legal documents a young person should have in place when traveling.
Whether your college student is planning a getaway for spring break or you are, make sure the following forms are filled out and fully executed.
#1 – A Young Adult Power of Attorney Form
If you’re asking, “why do I need a young adult POA?” you’re not alone. Many parents ask this question. We’ve answered that in-depth in our Power of Attorney Forms for a Child post.
Sadly, accidents can happen at any time (including while traveling on spring break) that cause an adult child to become incapacitated. Someone who normally makes wise, level-headed decisions may become impaired temporarily by an illness or accident and need assistance making medical and financial decisions.
Every adult should have a durable power of attorney for health care and the same for financial decisions because these forms designate who is authorized to handle medical and financial decisions in an emergency.
Without these forms, a court may need to appoint a guardian or conservator for you. This process can be complex and expensive. Power of attorney forms eliminate this concern.
#2 – A Will
Maybe your child is younger and your family is taking a vacation over spring break. If this is the case, you need a will.
While most vacations go as planned without life-altering disruptions, it’s always better to be prepared for disaster than to be surprised by it.
A will is a legal document outlining your desires regarding the legal care of your minor children and distribution of your property and assets upon your death.
Wills aren’t just for people with young children or those with substantial wealth and assets. Everyone needs a will. And everyone should have one before traveling. We’ve written before about why you need one.
If it’s been five years or more, or you’ve experienced a major life event since you created your last will, you need a current will before you travel.
Most people delay creating a will because they think it will take too long, be too difficult and cost too much money. Mama Bear Legal Forms helps you overcome all of those obstacles with our will package.
Our attorney-designed documents are state-specific and legally binding and only cost $129. We also throw in two other important documents free – a health care power of attorney and finance power of attorney form.
In less time than it takes to pack your carry-on bag, you can create a will and travel carefree.
Why You Need a Young Adult Power of Attorney Form
Many important legal changes occur when a young person becomes an adult in the eyes of the law:
- Parents no longer have the right to make medical decisions for their child
- Parents are not authorized to help adult children manage financial issues
- Banks and insurance companies will no longer communicate with parents about a child’s account or health condition
We all assume that because we’re married or a parent, we have automatic authority to handle decisions for our loved ones. Once a child turns 18, parents no longer have the right to make medical or financial decisions for them.
Absent a power of attorney form and healthcare power of attorney form, parents are not authorized to help adult children manage their financial, legal or healthcare decisions.
By age 18, HIPAA privacy laws pull the curtain fully closed and doctors, banks and insurance companies will no longer communicate with a parent about a child’s account or health condition.
Specific laws vary, so the situation can become more convoluted when a child attends college out of state. The most common reasons a parent may need to help an adult child make medical or financial decisions are maturity and incapacity.
Even as they embark on the next phase of their lives, and the first phase of adulthood, many young people aren’t ready at age 18 to take on all the responsibilities of adulthood.
Events arise that are beyond their experience to handle. College students may inadvertently land themselves in credit card debt and need help from parents to make the financial moves necessary to climb out.
There’s much more to learn about POAs. We’ve addressed common questions, such as:
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.
Where do I get power of attorney forms?
Once you see the need for a power of attorney form, the next logical question is where to find one. Many wonder if free POA templates online are appropriate.
While some states do offer these forms for free, they differ in quality from one state to the next. Few state websites provide guidance to assist in filling out the form. Attorneys typically do not use the sample forms provided by states. Beyond samples offered on state websites, most online free forms vary in quality and usability, or aren’t truly free.
Many claim to carry no cost, but charge a fee to download the documents or require a subscription. Additionally, it can be difficult to find the right form and fill it out correctly.
Mama Bear Legal Forms offers affordable power of attorney (POA) templates and healthcare POA forms you can customize for your children and state(s) of residence. Our Young Adult Power of Attorney Package includes all three documents your college child needs for only $79 – a significantly lower price than the average attorney fee for preparing such documents.
Can’t I get a POA form at my doctor’s office?
This is a great question. You have probably filled out many HIPAA forms at various doctors’ offices. Those forms usually provide release of health information for that office or hospital system only. They provide parents no rights to a child’s personal health information anywhere else.
Additionally, they provide no help if a child becomes incapacitated and cannot sign a HIPAA release at the time they need care. Both a healthcare power of attorney form and universal HIPAA release should be prepared ahead of time.
Cross This Item Off Your Spring Break Packing List
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.
All three of the forms we offer in our Young Adult Package are legally valid in all states and include guidance on how to complete them.
It only takes ten minutes to create the three documents your child needs to have everything secured before they head off for spring break. Get yours now.