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Don’t Let Your Kids Move Out Without This Plan

Watching your kids leave home to attend college or start their career can be an emotional time for you as a parent. On one hand, moving out on their own is a major accomplishment that should make you proud. On the other hand, having your kids leave the nest and face the world can induce anxiety and fear.

Regardless of your feelings, once they reach age 18, your kids become legal adults, and many areas of their lives that were once under your control will be solely their responsibility. And one of the very first items on their to-do list as new adults should be emergency planning.

While planning may be (probably is) the last thing your kid is thinking about right now, it should be the first, because once they turn 18, you no longer have automatic access to their medical records and/or financial accounts should anything happen to them. Before your kids head out on their own, you should discuss and have them sign the following three documents: 

Health Care Proxy and HIPAA Authorization

A Health Care Proxy is an advance directive that allows your child to legally appoint you or someone to make healthcare decisions for them in the event they become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for themselves. Together with a HIPAA Authorization (a medical records and information release), a Health Care Proxy would allow you to make decisions about your child’s medical treatment, obtain critical medical records, and speak freely with health care providers if your child is unconscious due to an illness or accident. 

Without these important documents in place, you’d have to petition a court for a formal order to become your child’s decision-maker. Without a HIPAA Authorization, you may not even be able to learn about your child’s condition in the first place. While a parent is typically the court’s first choice for guardian, the court process is slow – and in medical emergencies, every second counts.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney

Should your child become incapacitated, you’ll also need the ability to access and manage their finances, and this requires your child to grant you Durable Financial Power of Attorney. A Durable Financial Power of Attorney gives you the immediate legal authority to manage their financial and legal matters, such as paying bills, applying for Social Security benefits, and/or managing banking and other financial accounts. Without this document, you’ll have to petition the court for that authority.

Start adulthood off right

As parents, it’s natural to experience anxiety when your kid leaves home. But with the support of our team and our “18+ Care Package,” you’ll at least have peace of mind knowing that your son or daughter will be well taken care of in the event of an unforeseen accident or illness. Contact us today to ensure that if your child ever does need your help, you’ll have the legal authority to provide it.

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At The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, we answer your questions at your convenience; we stay in frequent communication; and we meet to discuss changes in life circumstances and in the law to ensure that your assets are protected.




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