Legacy Solutions: A Most Timely Conversation with Your 18 Year Old
By: Jon Hull, Author / Life & Legacy Documentation Expert / Speaker[caption id="attachment_1119" align="alignnone" width="320"] Timely Conversation 18 Year Old[/caption]
In our last article we referred to the points in time when a legal status changes in our life and the lives of our family members calls for timely conversations. How the legal system views us as we move through life affects us and those closest to us.
When our children turn 18 years of age, our local, State and Federal governments move them into the legal status of an adult citizen. They are now isolated, legally, away from the family. They are no longer protected by the family as an adolescent, but now take on all of the responsibilities of a single adult unit within the laws set forth in this country. They now become responsible for their actions both good and bad. It is interesting to note that in our book, A Legacy Undone, isolation was the one most powerful action Billy used to carry out his greedy plan to take Jean and her money.
As a parents, the only way to tie our children legally back to the family is to have the legal documents of an estate plan in place. If we want to have our children become heirs of any of our things and stuff, this is the only way it works! If something happened to you today and these legal documents are not in place, the laws of your State will determine what happens to your finances and personal belongings. Your family will just be along for the ride and the burden of those emotions can be devastating.
The opportunity for a timely conversation is upon us. It is critical that our newly isolated child knows about this legal status change and the things they are responsible for. For those parents who have their affairs in order, it is a good time to have a truthful conversation about their own mortality and how they have prepared to legally deal with the inevitable. For those not legally prepared, we still need to have the conversation and show how we will take the steps necessary to put our affairs in order. It is the biggest opportunity to demonstrate that we are human, bad things can happen at any time, there are legal issues, and we are prepared or are preparing.
If we are being truthful with ourselves, we know that not helping them to understand why and how these laws work will only make them vulnerable. There might be time to talk later, but when is later? What if they go off to college, or move out on their own and something happens to you? What happens is that they don’t know what to do, who to call, how the legal system works in this circumstance. What happens is that they are left to try and figure it out. They may spend a lot of money on lawyers and the courts, which can lead to a burden both emotionally and financially. We have even heard from folks who have become resentful of the parent(s) for not teaching them what to do.
More than 50% of Americans do not have a Will according to the Insurance Institute. We all have the opportunity to teach our children, and hopefully these timely conversations tips will help you get ahead of the curve. That’s where good things happen!
Please leave us a comment or story below of your own regarding this topic, we want to hear from you! Thank you.
Next Monday’s article will be on protecting minor children.