When Young Adults Should Be Treated As Seniors

When do you need to start planning for your incapacity due to illness or injury? Your ability to use Snapchat proficiently -- or your desire to do so -- is not the line of demarcation. In most states, it is celebrating your 18th birthday. Upon reaching the age of majority, health care directives and durable powers-of-attorney are necessary to allow someone you trust to make critical decisions on your behalf when you lack the ability to do so yourself.

Contemplating a situation that leaves you in a physically or mentally compromised state is not fun. It doesn't get any easier when you're young and (seemingly) invincible. But bad things can happen and it's important that young adults, such as college students, establish a viable contingency plan.

Don't think that parents can act for their children in such situations. Privacy laws, for example, prevent doctors from sharing personal medical information to anyone, even parents, once the patient is 18.

A health care directive should contain a health care proxy and a living will. The proxy grants a designee the right to obtain medical information about the person signing the proxy. It also authorizes the designee to make medical decisions on behalf of someone who is incapacitated. A living will sets forth detailed instructions on how to proceed in dire situations.

Durable powers of attorney are also needed to handle financial and legal matters for someone who has lost the ability to handle these tasks on their own.

Being prepared applies not only to Millennials, but to other generations as well -- Gen X, Baby Boomers, and those born before 1946. Careful planning is not bound by age. Consult with a qualified attorney today. We'll be checking in with our clients to confirm they have done so.

Words of Wisdom

My mother had morning sickness after I was born. -- Rodney Dangerfield