(612) 206-3701 info@lucerelegal.com

Protecting Your High School Graduate: The Legal Matters

Lucere Legal helps parents of recent grads get their estate plans in order

To all the parents who’ve just seen their child accept his or her high school diploma, congratulations! You’ve put in eighteen years of effort toward their achievements–full of both fun and frustration–and the time draws nearer for them to set off on their own. Yet still you wish to ensure them the best life possible, to protect them as you always have.

But before they leave your nest, whether to a distant college or even an apartment down the block, you must know that their departure will take with them many of the legal parental rights you held before they turned 18.

Under the law, a person’s eighteenth birthday is a stark dividing line: a child one day, an adult the next. The legal rights you held to access their health care, school, or banking records without their permission are yours no longer. Fortunately, there are steps you can take that will ensure your peace of mind and their safety as they venture out into the world:

Create an advance healthcare directive.  In the event of accident or illness that results in your child’s incapacitation, you will require an advance healthcare directive if you wish to access their medical records or make medical decisions in their place. When the unexpected happens, this can be invaluable. Additionally, in order for medical professionals to share information with you, you must ask your child to sign a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) form–don’t be powerless should tragedy strike.

Use technology.  Modern technology can sometimes cause more problems than it solves, but I’m happy to say this is not one such case. Smart phones–be they Android or iPhone–truly merit the name: rather than keep important medical documents such as those mentioned above in a crowded filing cabinet to be forgotten, an app called My HealthCare Wishes can give you copies of what you need, immediately as you need it. Released by the American Bar Association, the app allows you to store an advance directive and other important documents on a smartphone.  The app comes in two versions:  the Lite version stores a PDF version of an advance healthcare directive and HIPAA form; the Pro version ($3.99) provides more functionality, including the ability to email documents.  The app is called My HealthCare Wishes and is available from the iPhone App Store or on Google Play for Android devices.  There are also online solutions like DocuBank.com that store medical records and allows those to be accessed by medical professionals anywhere in the world.

Add an ICE app to your child’s phone.  Though most modern smart phones now feature them as a default, be sure to install an ICE (In Case of Emergency) app to your child’s phone that lists your contact information and also create an ICE listing in his or her phone contacts with this information.  Your child is much more likely to always have their phone with them than to carry a printed card or document and medical professionals will be able to contact you straight away.

For more information on protecting your family, call our office at (612) 206-3701 or fill out our contact form to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk about this in a family estate planning consultation, where we can identify the best ways for you to ensure the security of your loved ones.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

Contact us to see how we can help you with Families with Children

You may also like . . .

Your Children are Your Greatest Treasure

Over the course of this summer, you’ve undoubtedly gone through a small fortune in band-aids  patching up the countless bumps, scrapes, and bruises that summertime activities put upon your young children. And yet they can’t wait to get back outside! You’ve...

School-Year Chaos is Near, Have You Finished These 5 To-Dos?

You won’t be surprised to hear that Americans like to get the most enjoyment they can out of the summer, but is it worth putting off what you need to do for what you want to do? Parents know, once the school year hits, getting everything taken care of suddenly gets a...

The plain-English guide for Minnesota small business owners

When it comes to business, ignorance isn't bliss; ignorance is risk.

There's a handful of legal topics that business owners should be familiar with, at least on a rudimentary level, to reduce the risk of having something horrible come out of left field.

This book is a legal guide to help you put the most common business legal issues on your radar, with enough information for you to be on the alert for when you may need to get some professional advice.

The intention in arming you with this information is so that you can proceed in business confidently and with fewer legal quagmires.

Do you have a cabin?

The first generation that buys a cabin enjoys it to the fullest and it’s a magical place where happy memories are made and families go for some much needed respite. Unfortunately, without thoughtful planning, the chances of the cabin staying a place of happiness and tranquility into successive generations is very, very slim.

If you haven’t done the planning in advance and made it legally binding, the family members (and their ex-spouses and new spouses) will have to work every detail out for themselves. If they can’t, what is likely to happen is a lawsuit called an action for partition that forces everyone to sell their interest. This lawsuit is expensive, and the costs of litigation will come out of the proceeds of the sale of the cabin, so to add insult to injury to those who wanted to keep the cabin but couldn’t afford to buy the others out, they are footing part of the legal bills in the lawsuit against them. Ouch!

It’s no wonder that family members stop speaking for years after the cabin conflict is “resolved.” You can’t make family relationships perfect, but you can take away much of the fuel for the family conflict fire. That’s what cabin planning does, and it has the nice side effect of giving you peace of mind now.

That’s why Kimberly wrote The Minnesota Cabin Planning Guide and Workbook, and you can get a free electronic copy of her book on our cabin planning website, or you can find it in many county libraries in Minnesota, or you can get it on amazon.com.

Make An Appointment>

Join Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our newsletter list to get information and resources helpful to running your business and planning and managing your personal financial affairs delivered right to your inbox.

We don’t spam and won’t share your information with anyone, at anytime, ever.

Check out our podcast

The Small Business Buzz Podcast

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Please note that any information submitted in our web form is not subject to attorney client privilege and no attorney-client relationship will be created until a representation agreement has been executed.

8 + 5 =