Legal Docs for Kids

Chad                                    00:03                   

Hi everyone. Chad Burton here. This is a special event. Let’s call it that cool Lori special event where, um, Lori and I have been chatting about, uh, her practice and clients and different things. And this topic came up that we thought, you know, it’d be really good idea. Let’s record an interview. So I get to be a guest interview or, and Lori’s world, um, and her law firm. And today we’re going to talk about an interesting topic. That’s never really crossed my mind is a real thing to think about, um, which is preparing legal documents, like powers of attorney and different things for your kids when they go away to college or back to college or off into life. So before we dive into that, Lori, um, this is going to be on your YouTube channel, your website, but, um, tell everybody about yourself. Let’s start there.

Lori                                      01:09                   

Well, I’m an elder law attorney. I’m typically dealing with more parents rather than your kids. We have a boutique elder law firm in Wayne Hughes and we help families get care in place and protect assets when somebody gets sick or needs long-term care such as nursing home or home health aides in the home or that type of thing where we’re, we’re basically helping people protect their life savings.

Chad                                    01:43                   

Okay. That’s very fancy. So, and your, um, your domain is, is it N Y elder law queen? So you like the queen of elder law. Can we go with that title from now on

Lori                                      01:57                   

Yeah. It’s queens.com, but yeah.

Chad                                    02:01                   

Great. So you’re there. So what you really were saying upfront is you’re the queen of elder law in New York. That’s your role? Fair enough. Great.

Lori                                      02:12                   

Okay. Let’s good.

Chad                                    02:14                   

Um, so let’s talk about it. So this idea of getting your kids ready from a legal perspective, you know, long time ago, when I went away to college, this is not anything we talked about. Uh, I don’t think we thought about a state planning documents at all until I think a kid was maybe on the way, something like that. So what is it that you’re talking about here? Who, you know, you said you usually deal with parents, right? Um, walk us through, you know, what needs to be done to really kinda take care of this legal issue.

Lori                                      02:52                   

Okay. So right now it’s time that the kids are going back to college or starting college. And it’s a little bit different this year because we have, COVID still looming. And when we send the kids back, we don’t know if they’re going to get sick or if they’re not. So it’s, it’s something we think about when we send them away anyway, but especially this year, if your 18 year old gets sick, you are what’s, what’s your child turns 18. He or she is a wiggle adult, and you are no longer their legal guardian. Now, as a practical matter, the implications of that are, if they, God forbid get sick at school and you know, something happens, you may, it be in a position to be trying to get information about them and the providers, the hospital, the nurses, the doctors may not be allowed to speak to you.

Lori                                      04:02                   

So even if, you know, even if they do, they’re going to want your child’s permission, your adult child’s permission. And by the time you get your child and the doctor on the phone, I mean, that could take a couple of days. If something happens, you want to be right in there and getting information and making decisions, and you don’t have that, right. Unless your adult child has given you that. Right. And the way we give someone that, right, is we do a power of attorney and we do a health care proxy. Now the healthcare proxy is the document that says, if I can’t make my own decisions, I want my mother to make them for me, or, you know, Mary Smith to make them for me. And then the provider will immediately contact mom. And you’re off to the races. We put HIPAA authorization in these documents too. So they are allowed to legally disclose information to us. Um, now the power of attorney on the other hand, that’s more for financial and form signing authority. You might need to deal with, with your child’s school, with their car, their car payment, you might need to be dealing with insurance of that. These hospital bills get paid. There are a lot of things you might need to do that you’re not even thinking of right now, because nothing has come up.

Chad                                    05:31                   

Right. And so, and that’s an interesting dynamic, especially for most kids going away for school or like, I am free. I’m responsible for myself, but I think it’s probably fair to say that the mindset’s a little different now, especially with in-person school being a thing again, um, you know, back in the day used to be like, you’re just worried your kid didn’t get too drunk and pass out you on campus somewhere, little different dynamic here.

Lori                                      06:01                   

Right. And I mean, that’s something

Chad                                    06:02                   

That’s still possible. And actually, quite frankly, it could be helpful too. If you think your kid’s going to be a raging alcoholic and they get hurt. So let’s maybe they’re vaccinated and immune to everything in the world, except for too much vodka.

Lori                                      06:18                   

But right. When they’re pledging to their fraternity or sorority, they pass out the blackout, they end up in the hospital. It does happen. It does.

Chad                                    06:28                   

And never happened to me ever.

Lori                                      06:30                   

No, I’m sure it didn’t never did happen to me. We didn’t go as hard back in the day as they do now, things have changed. So, um, okay. So

Chad                                    06:42                   

Needs some documents in place. People come to you for these documents. What, I mean, oftentimes people avoid these concepts of like, you know, preventative work, uh, because it feels like it’s a pain in the butt. And so how, like, give us, give us like an idea of like, how long does it take, um, uh, is it expensive? Like what, why, why bother with it besides the obvious piece, but like, what about these issues? How long does it take costs?

Lori                                      07:21                   

Okay. You know, it’s really a pain in the butt is if something happens and somebody is out of it for a while and you go into the court and commence a guardianship proceeding and have a judge appoint you or someone else as your child’s legal guardian, that’s some expensive time consuming, really painful stuff. Doing these documents is relatively cheap and quick. It’s, you know, we basically prepare the documents. They come in, they sign in front of two witnesses and I notarize them. I may even be one of the witnesses and we make copies, we give them the original and they’re on their way. It, it just in the, in the legal world, it doesn’t get a lot easier than that. Right.

Chad                                    08:16                   

And it’s not like this is going to cost. I mean, you’re comparing like the idea of like fighting in court over access versus the cost of documents, which is obviously much cheaper than having to fight it out.

Lori                                      08:30                   

For sure. It’s much cheaper. It’s it’s not going to break anybody’s bank. Okay,

Chad                                    08:36                   

Cool. So this is something that are, you know, you don’t have to, you know, be Uber wealthy to get, you don’t have to, you know, it’s, you know, reasonable cost, easy process to do anything else that parents should be thinking about as kids are going back to college too, you know, and I, I guess it’s a broad question. Anything else that you should be thinking about, uh, besides this issue?

Lori                                      09:03                   

Um, you might also want to have them sign a few ovary grievances. Now we do put HIPAA releases. That’s, that’s the authorization for a provider to disclosed healthcare information to a third party. Um, and that’s, that’s a big deal these days. We do put that in our power of attorney, put it in our healthcare proxy, but a lot of doctors, you know, if you’re calling the doctor privately or whatever, it’s, it’s a nice idea to have your child and signed several HIPAA releases so that anyone that you have to talk to. Um, like for instance, when my daughter was in school, she got, she came down with a very bad case of strep throat at one point. And she had to go into an urgent care. And, you know, we, I, I simply was able to fax that off this, over the hip release and they weren’t able to disclose the information to me that I needed. So that’s another thing that is a good idea to do.

Chad                                    10:14                   

Great. Very good. Uh, so somebody is watching this video and they want to find out more information, um, or get in contact with you. What is the best way for somebody to reach out to the firm?

Lori                                      10:29                   

They can give a call it’s 718 740 3300, or they can email us. I mean, there are links on the website. So there, there are several different ways that they can reach us. Um, and you know, if, if it’s too late to get the kids before they head off to school, I would do it when they come back for the, you know, on the, on their first trip back

Chad                                    11:00                   

Like fall break or Thanksgiving. Right. So maybe they don’t move out permanently and just refuse to ever come back. Assuming that, assuming that very good. Well, Lori, thank you for letting me be your guest interview or today, uh, queen of outer law. Anything else before we sign off?

Lori                                      11:22                   

Um, we’re good. All right. Very good. Thank you to everybody for joining us.

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