“Leave your kids alone and let them make mistakes like we did.”
“This young adult power of attorney stuff is helicopter parenting madness.”
“Stop helicoptering and let your kids grow up.”
These are common comments parents make in our Facebook group. And, as well-meaning as those comments are, we believe they reflect a lack of understanding about what power of attorney documents accomplish.
3 Reasons Power of Attorney Forms Aren’t Helicoptering
POA forms aren’t helicoptering at all. They’re actually an action taken by someone who understands that adulting is more than just a hashtag. Here are three reasons young adult POA forms aren’t for helicopter parents.
#1 – Powers of attorney are for adults, not children.
Every adult should have power of attorney forms in place. Health care and financial POAs are necessary tools in today’s regulated world.
Once a child turns 18 (or in some states, 19) and becomes an adult, many entities are no longer allowed to share private health care or financial information with anyone other than that individual – unless a POA is in place.
When someone signs a power of attorney form, they are performing an adult task. They’re doing something only adults can do.
When a young adult takes this step, it’s a positive first step in establishing a lifelong habit of healthy financial and long-term planning.
#2 – Powers of attorney are designed for emergencies.
As we’ve shared on this site before, a POA is something you hope you’ll never have to use. But, when a medical or financial emergency unexpectedly befalls your adult child, you’ll want one in place.
Dr. Jason Feinstein knows that firsthand.
His college-age son called him from an urgent care facility asking if he should consent to the treatment the doctors were recommending.
Though he was a doctor himself, Jason could not speak to the doctors treating his son.
“They said, ‘we can’t talk to you. We can only talk to the patient,’” Jason recalls. “I told them that I had HIPAA forms and a signed health care power of attorney form. They told me that until they had them, they wouldn’t speak to me.”Dr. Jason Feinstein
Jason’s situation is not uncommon. In fact, it happens all the time. And, it illustrates the need for parents to have a notarized health care POA on hand for their adult children.
Thankfully, Jason used Mama Bear Legal Form’s app to create POAs for his son and could quickly email them to his son, who showed them to his doctors, who then shared their treatment plan for Jason’s son with him.
POAs aren’t designed to prevent young adults from making their own decisions.
They’re designed for emergencies; for times when young adults don’t know what to do with a serious health or financial situation, or can’t make a decision because they are incapacitated.
In fact, POAs can be designed to take effect only when a person is incapacitated. This point further illustrates that POAs are not designed for helicoptering. Rather, they are legal documents that ensure sure someone responsible is designated to help with health or financial situations in an emergency.
#3 – Helping adult children is not helicoptering.
Life is complicated and stressful. Responsible young adults may not have the resources to handle every financial and health emergency alone. A power of attorney package empowers a parent with the legal authority to come alongside and offer help when it’s needed.
It’s not about taking over a child’s life. It’s coming alongside to help.
While a child may be an adult in the eyes of the law, that doesn’t mean they have the experience and wisdom to tackle every situation that comes their way. Some things are automatic when you turn 18. In America, young men automatically become eligible for the draft. You are legally allowed to vote. But you do not automatically download the life experience or knowledge required to handle every situation wisely.
Power of attorney forms simply provide parents the power to talk with health care and financial professionals about situations their children are encountering.
Be a responsible parent. Get a POA today.
Now that you know getting a POA isn’t a symptom of helicopter parenting, you’re ready to help your young adult develop the important, adult, habit of healthy financial and long-term planning.
Mama Bear Legal Forms helps you take that step with law firm quality, state-specific documents that are easy to create, simple to download and incredibly affordable.
Our Young Adult Power of Attorney Package includes all four documents your college child needs for only $79 – a significantly lower price than the average attorney fee for preparing such documents. Use promo code MAMABEARBLOG and save 20%.
All four 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 four documents your child needs to handle any emergency. Get yours now.