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Essential Legal Documents for Graduating Seniors

New graduates learning about essential legal documents they need as young adults

As new graduates transition from high school to college or the workforce, it’s important for them to understand the significance of having essential legal documents in place. These documents can protect their interests and ensure their wishes are respected, especially in unexpected situations.

Many young adults in Minnetonka think estate planning is only for older people, but it’s crucial for everyone. Once young adults turn 18, they are legal adults, and parents or guardians no longer have authority over their health or financial accounts or information. Accidents and illnesses can happen at any age. If this happens, having the right documents can make a big difference.

  1. Healthcare Proxy: This document allows a trusted person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t communicate your wishes. Choosing a reliable and nearby person is important for making quick decisions if needed.
  2. HIPAA Authorization: This gives certain people access to your medical records. Without it, your loved ones might not be able to get the information they need to help you in a medical emergency.
  3. Durable Financial Power of Attorney: This lets someone manage your finances if you become unable to do so yourself. It can help ensure your bills are paid and your finances are handled properly if you’re incapacitated. Learn more about powers of attorney in our article: Incapacity Planning: Safeguarding Your Estate and Future.
  4. Living Will: This outlines your preferences for medical treatment and end-of-life care. It helps your family know your wishes regarding life support and other critical decisions.
  5. Preneed Guardian Designation: This appoints someone to care for you or your dependents if you become unable to do so. For young parents, it ensures that their children are taken care of without waiting for court appointments.

A Story of Preparedness

Consider the story shared by the Financial Planning Association about a young adult who was in a car accident. Despite being healthy and active, the accident left them unable to make decisions. However, they had a healthcare proxy and a durable financial power of attorney. This enabled their family to step in and make medical and financial decisions on their behalf. Good estate planning can make hard times a little more manageable, even for young and healthy people.

Without these essential legal documents, your family might face delays in managing your affairs. Minnesota courts could appoint someone to make decisions for you. While this may work out, there’s no guarantee a court-appointed agent’s views would align with your wishes. Being unprepared can make difficult times even more stressful and challenging.

How Can Graduating Seniors in Minnetonka Get Started?

Creating these documents is easier than you might think. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. Talk to Your Parents or Guardians: Discuss your plans and get their input on who should be your healthcare proxy or financial power of attorney.
  2. Consult a Minneapolis Estate Planning Attorney: Seek advice from an estate planning attorney who can draft these documents to ensure they meet legal requirements and reflect your wishes accurately. Stone Arch Law Office in Minneapolis and Woodbury excels at helping young adults and their families effortlessly create comprehensive estate plans.
  3. Store Documents Safely: Keep your documents in a safe place. Make sure that your designated proxies know where to find them.
  4. Review Regularly: Life changes might require updates to your documents. Events such as moving to a new state, getting married, or having a child should prompt you to revisit your documents.

Lay the Foundations of a Bright Future

If you’re a graduating senior or a parent of one, now is the time to start thinking about these important legal documents. The attorneys at Stone Arch Law Office focus exclusively on estate planning and can help create the necessary legal documents for graduating seniors in Minnetonka. Book a call with our team to get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Young People Need Estate Planning: Having your documents in order can make hard situations easier.
  • Key Estate Documents for Young People: HIPAA Authorization, a durable financial power of attorney, and preneed guardian designation are invaluable.
  • The Importance of a Will: Young parents need wills to provide for their children’s future in case the worst happens.

Reference: Financial Planning Association (Oct. 2023) Essential Estate Planning for Young Adults

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