Navigating New Milestones: The Importance of Planning After Your Child’s Graduation


Graduation, whether from high school or college, marks a significant transition for your child into adulthood. This milestone brings about new responsibilities, particularly in legal and financial realms, that many families overlook until it’s crucial.

The Shift at 18: Understanding Legal Changes

Turning 18 is a landmark event, marking the legal transition from child to adult. This change, while exciting, brings significant legal implications, especially in how parents can interact with their child’s medical and financial information. This shift is often underscored by the story of a young adult who, after turning 18, finds themselves in a medical emergency while away at college. Their parents, attempting to intervene and make necessary medical decisions, are shocked to discover they are legally barred from accessing their child’s medical details or making decisions on their “baby’s” behalf due to privacy laws.

Empowering Parents: The Parent’s Relief Kit

To prepare for such scenarios, our Parent’s Relief Kit is an essential resource. It equips parents with the necessary legal tools to assist their adult children in times of need without violating privacy laws. The kit includes:

  • Durable Power of Attorney: This document allows parents to handle their adult child’s financial and legal affairs, crucial in situations where financial decisions or actions need to be taken quickly.
  • Health Care Surrogate: This designation enables parents to make medical decisions on behalf of their child if they are incapacitated and unable to do so themselves.
  • HIPAA Release: Essential for accessing medical records, this release ensures that parents can consult with medical professionals and make informed decisions about their child’s health care.

Post-College Planning: A Broader Perspective

After college, life gets increasingly complex. Your child might be starting a family, acquiring assets, or moving across the country. Although only about 32% of adults have an estate plan, being informed and prepared can make a significant difference. It’s essential now more than ever for your young adult to consider setting up an estate plan to protect themselves and their future family.

Encouraging Adult Responsibilities

Have a college grad in your wings instead? As your child embraces major life milestones like graduation, it’s natural to consider their readiness for the adult world, which includes understanding the importance of life planning. While you, as a parent, might not lead their estate planning efforts, you play a crucial role in equipping them with the necessary knowledge and resources to make informed decisions.

Initiating conversations about estate planning might seem daunting, but you can start by discussing the basics: the significance of having a will or the importance of durable power of attorney and health care directives. These discussions can pave the way for a deeper understanding and appreciation of future planning.

Encourage your child to consult with an estate planning attorney who can tailor advice specific to their circumstances. You can assist by providing contact details of reputable lawyers or scheduling initial consultations. It’s about giving them the tools they need to secure their future proactively.

Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to start planning. As we celebrate your child’s transition from school to their next adulthood phase, let’s also celebrate the steps they take towards securing a well-planned future. This is not just about celebrating a milestone—it’s about preparing for all the milestones to come.Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation, either by giving us a call at (904) 329-7242 or filling out an online request.