Legal planning for young adults going to college, service, or work

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It’s a time of transition for many young adults who have turned 18, graduated high school, and are moving on to college, military service, or the work world.

Attorney Amy Kuronen focuses on estate planning, probate, and elder law. She says there are some important legal matters that parents and grandparents should have in order.

Once a child becomes an adult, Kuronen says, guardians no longer have the ability to get private information about finances or health.

“As a parent, you’re so used to taking care of your children and having the information you need to make decisions for them,” she said. “Once your child turns 18, you really no longer have the legal authority to do that. So then if there’s ever an emergency, for example, if your child was ever in a car accident or something, you may not be able to be involved in any of the decision-making. You may not even be able to receive information.”

She suggests two important documents if families still want to be able to make decisions for each other: Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive.

“The Power of Attorney deals with personal business, legal matters, that type of thing, and the Health Care Directive with medical decisions,” Kuronen said.

She said people can “DIY” these documents. Health Care Directive documents can be found through your doctor or online. But there are several different versions of Power of Attorney forms, so she says a professional opinion may be helpful.

Amy Kuronen can be reached via her website.