Congratulations 2023 grads! You made it to one finish line, however one of the responsibilities of being an adult is making sure you have documents in place so that your family or your friends will be able to assist you in the event of an emergency.
Everyone over 18, even people who "don't think they have anything" should have a WILL. Most people think you only need a Will if you have real property or children, but a Will passes any property that does not have a payable on death beneficiary, like a car or a bank account. Wills require a formal probate to be effective, but it is better to have a will and not need it than to need one and not have one. The best practice at this stage is to make sure all your assets have a payable on death beneficiary AND a Will.
Everyone over 18 should have a DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY. Most people don't think they will ever suffer from any kind of illness requiring assistance, but what if you're in a car accident and need someone to pay your credit card bills or your rent for you from your bank accounts? The only way someone can make financial transactions on your behalf is if they have a Durable Power of Attorney.
Everyone over 18 should have a MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY. The Medical Power of Attorney gives someone you designate the power to handle your medical decisions while you're incapacitated. This person is very important because they can make life or death decisions on your behalf.
Additionally, Universities may have other privacy related documents that they offer for students to allow a Student to release information to family members. You may need to talk to your University Student Services to see if that document is available.
There are other documents that you may need, such as transfer on death deeds, living trusts, caregiver agreements or guardianship elections, but the only way you'll know if you need these documents is if you talk to an attorney and find out what you need. If you or someone in your family is interested in getting any of the documents mentioned above, you can call us at CHIANG LAW FIRM, PLLC and set up a consultation today!