Life Planning for Young Adults – not Estate Planning

Don’t get “estate planning” confused with necessary legal “life planning,” especially for your child who is now “legal” in the eyes of the law.

You may try to ignore it, but you can’t get away from legal requirements and restrictions.

I originally wrote the following a couple years ago:
In less than a week, we load up and move our daughter to college.  It’s only 90 miles away, but she is the first to make this move for us.  While the move is only 90 miles, a much bigger legal move took place that puts her much farther away from us than ever before.

So much anticipation, excitement, and nervousness.  So many forms and things to put in place. For so many years, my wife or I would fill-out forms without thinking twice.  Now, every time we see one, I have to ask, “Should we complete this or should she?”

“She” is now a legal adult and has the legal right – in fact, in some cases, the legal obligation – to complete them.  As a parent, we are not trying to do anything she is not aware of; instead, we are just making sure it gets done, like we have for the last 18 years.

18 years – that is an incredibly significant number

Legally, anyone with the legal capacity to manage one’s own affairs becomes a legally, separate person in the eyes of much of the law. I should know this -I do know this.  I’m an attorney who has this very conversation with clients.

However, in the excitement and anxiousness of putting everything in place, it slipped my mind that we are now cut out of a lot of our daughter’s essential information and decision-making.

It was not such an issue when she is home every day.  But now, we won’t see her every day or even every week.

There are any number of entities that do not see me as legally responsible for her actions.  So, they do not have to, legally, inform me.  In fact, in many instances, they have a legal responsibility to not tell me anything, unless my “legal adult” daughter gives specific permission for me to know things like:

  • her medical condition,
  • why she was in the hospital,
  • if she is in the hospital, or
  • to talk to doctors if she is still there.

That’s just information.

I have no clear, automatic right, to tell the doctor to do or not to do something if my daughter cannot communicate for herself.

Medical information and decision-making is only the tip of the restricted legal category spear.

Financial (i.e., banking) and property information as well as education and financial aid information is personal and private to the young adult. Despite you being, or expected to be, responsible to pay bills for tuition, medical expenses, insurance, and loans, you may not be able to get information about what you are paying for.

Because this is such an unknown area of planning, we launched a education campaign to help parents and young adults find information. Visit to sign up for a free guide and a video series to explain the needs.

If you have specific questions, call to schedule a free phone – 219.230.3600 – consultation to get some clarification and answers.

Everyone needs to consider some planning.
Indiana Estate Planning Attorney RG Skadberg helps parents and young adults understand legal ramifications to turning 18.
Indiana Attorney RG Skadberg, founding member of CCSK Law, educates people about planning. In an effort help people understand the importance of proper planning, he launched With a goal to de-emphasize the mindset of “estate planning” and “everyone needs a will,” provides plain English explanations of how planning blends with the varied stages of life.
He and the others that founded CCSK Law did so to deliver law differently. He regularly participates in education workshops and presentations to explain important aspects of Life Planning and answer participants planning questions.
You are encouraged to attend or call to schedule a free phone consultation to get clear answers to your questions and concerns. Then, choose solutions that fit your need. is an education and resource site, part of CCSK Law, LLC.
RG meets clients in Northwest Indiana (primary offices in Valparaiso and Crown Point), Lafayette, and the South Bend area. Home and facility visits can be discussed.
Call 219.230.3600 or 765.999.1823

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