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Power of attorney important estate planning document

Children who are 18 or older are legally viewed as adults in Texas and other states, which means their parents do not have the same rights regarding their children that they used to have. This can pose challenges for the parents, especially when it comes to the children’s finances. However, estate planning might help parents of young adult children remain involved in their children’s financial lives, whether they have entered the workforce or are attending college.

When a child is 18 years old, the child’s parents cannot access his or her bank account unless they become co-signers on the personal account. In addition, if the child has gotten his or her own credit card, the child’s parents cannot monitor how the child is using it. However, a durable power of attorney can help the parents to have a say in what their child does financially.

The child can have a durable power of attorney prepared and then designate his or her parents as his or her financial agent. The agent of an adult child can write checks on the child’s account if the child were to become incapacitated. In addition, the agent can more easily monitor the child’s debit card and credit card purchases.  

Estate planning is often not high on people’s priority lists in the state of Texas, especially teenagers. However, it is an important part of planning for the future. Proper legal guidance can help people develop detailed powers of attorney and other documents, such as wills, that reflect their wishes and needs.

Source:, “Does a College Student Need an Estate Plan?“, Sept. 6, 2016