Often, young adults are guilty of hiding behind the cloak of youth as an excuse for putting off important decisions and commitments regarding their future.  More often, they procrastinate on these topics and the bewilderment and frustration of those that love them and are truly trying to help set them up to overcome future challenges.  Given this common scenario, what are your chances of convincing your children or young-adult dependents of the need to think about estate planning – to plan for their future before something potentially dangerous happens? 

Perhaps one of the most powerful and convincing arguments you can make to demonstrate why and how planning for your future is important is to do it with your young adult children.  The trick here is that rather than setting up their plan, you will be establishing (or revising) yours, so that they might play a more critical role in your own healthcare and estate needs in the future.  Working through the mental what-ifs and how-do-I’s with them might start to move them to see the value and importance for someone to be able to do those things in their own life. 

A Scenario for Young Adults to Work Through

What happens if while away at college your child has an accident while playing basketball, or doing something else?  They fall down hard and hit their head and due to a concussion or brain injury are kept in a sedated state for a prolonged period of time. 

For example, Southwest Guilford’s Christian Martin recovering at Hickory hospital

If, like in the example above, they had fallen while still a minor, as a dependent, of you or your spouse, the care plan might have been straight forward -> you would be making the call about operations, palliative care, even religious rites if necessary.  However, being a young adult means autonomy, and though you are the parent, without the proper legal framework, you have no special right to make those decisions for your child.  In fact, you might not even be notified that anything had occurred! Who will pay their bills, get the key from their landlord to feed their pets, talk to the school about their classes, and so on? 

Does this sound fair?  Does it worry you?  That’s why advanced directives and estate planning matter. 

Side note: Though we are talking about your adult child in this scenario, consider reversing the focus for a moment.  What if you have an accident and there is no-one immediately present to speak for you?  Who will know, and moreover, even if they know, who will have the authority to make healthcare or financial decisions for you? 

How Advanced Directive Planning Helps Young Adults

Advanced directive planning puts young adults in the right position to get the medical care they desire in the event that they can’t communicate such needs by themselves via living wills and powers of attorney.  Through these tools and others, advanced directives also help them relieve their loved ones of the burden of having to brainstorm on the right medical decisions to make during a moment of crisis.

Remind Yourself of Your Power to Lead and Influence

As parents, your children look up to you.  Even if your adult child rankles with independence when you share good life advice, they are hearing from you.  You have an opportunity to engage them in one of the most important discussions in yours and their life – how to plan for and approach traumatic healthcare-related crises as a responsible adult. 

Contact Us Now!

Help your young adult child learn about planning for their healthy future by getting help setting up an advanced directive for health care. Contact us today to start your long term planning, and consider bringing your adult child along with you.

We are always available to offer advice regarding advanced directives and other aspects of estate planning.