Advice From Your Advocates

Ep. 18 - Preparing & Protecting Your Young Adult to Legally Leave For College

March 13, 2023 Attorney Bob Mannor Season 1 Episode 18
Advice From Your Advocates
Ep. 18 - Preparing & Protecting Your Young Adult to Legally Leave For College
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Can you imagine the panic and helplessness of not being able to access information or make decisions for your college-going child during a medical emergency? As your kids turn 18 and become legally independent, we've got the solution for you – the Young Adult Protection Plan. Join us in this special episode celebrating our one-year anniversary, featuring our producer Savannah, as we discuss this essential program that provides parents with access to vital information when their young adults are away at college, in the hospital, or incapacitated. Plus, meet our assistant producer Gillian, who's gearing up for law school after acing her LSAT!

Let's dive into the significance of respecting young adults' autonomy while still ensuring someone they trust is authorized to handle their medical records and make vital decisions in case of an emergency. We'll cover the ins and outs of the Young Adult Protection Plan, its numerous benefits, and the legal documents required to nominate a responsible individual. Additionally, we'll discuss the importance of keeping the plan updated and the best way to do so. 

At the end of this episode, celebrate with us as we mark our podcast's one-year milestone with cake!  Subscribe to stay in the loop with our future episodes.

This episode is hosted by Attorney Bob Mannor, CELA
Produced by Savannah Meksto
Asst. Producer Gillian Rabine
Asst. Producer Samantha Cohen

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Mannor Law Group helps clients in all matters of estate planning and elder law including special needs planning, veterans’ benefits, Medicaid planning, estate administration, and more. We offer guidance through all stages of life.

We also help families dealing with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other illnesses that cause memory loss. We take a comprehensive, holistic approach, called Life Care Planning. LEARN MORE...

Announcer 00:01

You're listening to Advice from Your Advocates, a show where we provide elder law advice to professionals who work with the elderly and their families.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 00:09

Welcome back to another episode of Advice from Your Advocates. Today we have a special episode because this is actually our one-year anniversary, and so for our one-year anniversary we have a special guest, which is our producer for Advice from Your Advocates, savannah Mextow. And so Savannah has been with the law firm for I don't know three years or four years, and we've been producing this podcast for about a year, and today we have a special episode that Savannah has been very instrumental in creating a program through the law office called the Young Adult Protection Plan. So tell us about the Young Adult Protection Plan and how that came about.

Savannah Meksto Guest 00:50

Sure, I know typically this isn't what we talk about on our Advice from Your Advocates podcast, but it is important and it will affect our listeners.


So the reason why I thought that this would be a really cool program for a law firm is because I'm a parent of a young adult and my daughter last year was going on to college and I realized I'm not totally prepared for her to go to college, Of course, emotionally that's one thing, But just all of the like necessities and things that she's going to need to make sure that I can still take care of her when she's gone.


So, like her financial, you know, banking things like that if she were to get sick or, you know, go into the hospital, I would need to make sure that I can contact the people that I would need to contact. So she's leaving the nest, but I wasn't quite ready to, you know, throw her all the way out of the nest and away from the tree, And I thought that there are probably a lot of other parents in my situation who are facing this change but not quite sure how to deal with it, And so I just thought it would be really good for us to address that for people in the community.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 01:54

Yeah, and I have younger kids also, so there's a big age difference here. But I had kids as an older age And so I actually my oldest is 16 and really haven't come across this yet But what a lot of my kid's friends parents. When I started talking about this young adult protection plan, they really had no idea that once that person turns 18, that young adult turns 18, that the parents have no say, they can't get information, necessarily because of the privacy laws, they can't get access, they can't get any information from the college or the hospital or if they got arrested or things like that. So it's a very important element to say okay, boy, i'm sending my, my 18 year old, 19 year old, 20 year old young adult off to another city, another state, you know, sometimes even an overseas study program, and if something bad happens, i as a parent don't have access to help them because we didn't get these proper legal documents in place.

Savannah Meksto Guest 02:56

That's really important. It's kind of scary when you think about it, or at least it was to me.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 03:01

So I have one other introduction to do today. So, since Savannah is on this side of the camera today, we have our assistant producer, jillian, and our very own young adult who was just graduated from college, and so Jillian is very excited. She just took the LSAT and is looking forward to going off to law school in the near future, so we're really excited about that for Jillian. So the issue about these what does this mean? What is the idea? What are the kind of documents that we're looking at here?

Savannah Meksto Guest 03:36

Yeah, that's a great question And I think that it's important for us to really explain to our listeners what's included and why it's important, And I kind of touched on this when I first started. You know my little, my shtick about why I wanted this at the firm. But, Bob, why is this something that we should talk about on the podcast?

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 03:54

Okay, good point.


So the idea is that I think that probably we don't have too many 18 year old listeners to our podcast that are advice from your advocates, typically related to the long-term care and aging industry, but I'm hoping that we have lots of parents and grandparents that are listening, and even the professionals that are financial professionals or the social workers and other long-term care professionals that might be listening to this broadcast and probably have kids and your kids are probably getting into that age where they might be getting closer to college or actually past college, even if they've graduated from college, like Jillian, and the idea is, unless they already have their own things in place, pretty much anybody over 18 years old should have somebody that they love and trust appointed to be able to get access to information and make decisions if they're unconscious or if they're in the hospital or they're otherwise incapacitated, and that is required.


You can't do that There's the only other option is to go to court and get into court and ask a judge for permission for that. So it's really important, and so it's probably not something that our 18 year olds or even 25 year olds are thinking a lot about, but I'm hoping the grandparents and the parents start thinking about that to say you know what, you know, i'll give you a Christmas gift or a graduation gift from high school, but in addition to that, we want you to consider appointing someone you love and trust to be able to have access and help you out in case something bad happens.

Savannah Meksto Guest 05:28

Yeah, that's so important. So back to your question that I alluded what's included? So I know that we have the power of attorney document, then there's one for financial And then we also have one that allows you to make medical decisions, and it's not what do we call it in our firm, bob.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 05:44

We call it a healthcare power of attorney or patient advocate.

Savannah Meksto Guest 05:47

Exactly. and why is that so important for an 18 year old? Because I know we have a social media, a few social media pages, and we had a lot of people asking some questions. We posted a video about this And we had a lot of responses, especially on TikTok. Side note, if you're not following us on TikTok, go ahead and look for Amanda Lugard there.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 06:05

And Instagram and Facebook.

Savannah Meksto Guest 06:06

YouTube Yeah yeah, But that's not why we're here today. So a lot of people were saying, well, hey, you know I'm the parent, can't I just call the hospital and ask what's going on with my child? Why do we need something like this, Bob, Even though they are our child technically?

Attorney Bob MannorHost06:22

Yeah, so in the United States if once somebody turns 18, they're considered an adult and they're considered the same amount of adults as somebody who's 40 or 60. And so the law says and there's all these privacy laws, and probably maybe you've heard of the HIPAA law, the healthcare privacy law that says that the hospital's not even necessarily supposed to acknowledge that they've been admitted to the hospital. The college is often going to sort of stand up for the privacy of the student and not release any information about what's going on with the student, and so you don't legally have access. Now does it ever happen where a doctor says, okay, well, this is a young person and the parent, sometimes probably people, kind of play fast and loose with that privacy law. But how do you know? you're gonna get somebody that does that And legally they're not supposed to.


So we really think that it's very important, particularly for the medical side of things. And that's a separate document. You pointed this out, savannah. Most people don't realize that there's two documents, one for financial matters and one for medical. So some people say, well, why do I need the financial one?


Well, if you get sick and you're in the hospital car accident, something like that somebody probably still needs to access your bank account, but that's probably not as important for an 18-year-old as the medical one, whereas if you're unconscious, someone needs to make decisions for you And you need to appoint someone you love and trust.


That's a phrase I use a lot Someone you love and trust. It has to be both, because it could be somebody that you love but don't trust, and that's not really who you want to appoint. Be somebody that you trust but don't love, and you don't know that they're gonna make the best decisions or the decisions that you would find appropriate for yourself. So it's really important that they have somebody that they love and trust that can make I get access, talk to the doctors, get information, ask questions And, if the person's not able to make their own medical decisions, make those decisions for them without having to run off to court and get a guardianship, which is a timely process, cumbersome process and not really something that most families want to go through during a crisis.

Savannah Meksto Guest 08:33

Yeah, absolutely, and the less sort of critical reason why, but one that was important to my daughter, the teenager she hates making phone calls, she hates making appointments, she hates talking to people about things that are important. So, she's more than happy to still let mama have some of that control to go in and help with those things. Have you seen?

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 08:54

that There was a little meme or whatever going around social media and the young person comes up to the receptionist and they say my mom made the appointment for me. It's just very funny because you know it's a young adult. Clearly they're capable of it, but that's kind of a common practice. I think that's very true. That's a new sort of cultural down for the last few years of nobody really wants to talk to anybody else. I'll admit that I probably won't order a pizza if I have to talk to somebody.

Savannah Meksto Guest 09:25

But I don't get, can't do it online, i'm not, i'm going to go to a different pizza place. I'm usually driving, so I actually have to come.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 09:36

Even better. Yeah, Oh goodness.

Savannah Meksto Guest 09:39

So we actually have a few other documents. It's not just the power of attorney, the financial and the health care documents. What else is included in this that's super critical and important? This was also that your request.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 09:49

You said you know. If we're saying that pretty much anybody over 18 needs legal documents, why would we just do the minimum? Why not go ahead and throw in some other important documents, and so the two other documents that are included as a very simple will and a privacy waiver, and so and we try to make this process as easy as possible We know that a young adult is not going to want to spend a lot of time and come into the office a bunch of times. Basically, we've limited it down to only having to come into the office once, and we could avoid that if they'd allow us to sign legal documents remotely, but they don't allow that in Michigan, and so we've gotten it down to one visit and one quick phone call with an attorney. We're going to want to make sure that we gather the right information and we've asked the right questions, but it's a really, really simple process, and we're even working on trying to make it even more simple where it's an online form, and then we just question you at the signing to make sure that you understand and are comfortable with everything. But my point on having this be really easy is I want it to be simple. I want it to be cost effective, but I also don't want it to be some form document that you're getting from you know. Most of the time, honestly, i'll tell you, most of those form documents I've seen are filled in wrong in some way, and so this is intended to be real legal advice, real legal documents, not just forms, but make it as easy as possible for them to get them, and so one of them is the simple will.


So why do you need a simple will? Well, we don't know what the future is going to bring. We don't know what's going to happen, and we want to make sure that things are going to go in the right direction. Also, we want to make sure that if something bad happens, this is kind of an awful thing to think about. But if there was a wrongful death there's something like that, a car accident that has to go through the will.


There has to be a will to specify who's going to be in charge, who's going to get the proceeds from it. Sometimes life's complicated, and sometimes we wouldn't want it to be our next of kin. Maybe we wouldn't want it to be our father or our mother, maybe we wouldn't want it to be our sibling, maybe we would want someone else involved, and so we do a simple will for the kids, i'm sorry, the young adults And then we also do the privacy waiver, which is very important because if you've ever tried to call and get information from anybody, they'll often say, well, I can't talk to you because of the privacy rules.


So that's what's involved in it.

Savannah Meksto Guest 12:17

Absolutely. And you mentioned the word privacy. This is also something that came up quite a bit on the social media on the TikTok. The TikTok I'm not a young adult, So a lot of pushback came. Well, what about privacy? My 18-year-old doesn't want me having access to all of these things. What kind of response do you have for those?

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 12:37

Yeah, And I think there were a number of comments from younger people, probably even people under 18, that were saying I wouldn't want my parents to have that, And that's fine. I understand that And this is obviously if you're 18 or an adult, you get to make your own decisions. What I'm suggesting is you need someone to have that. You need someone you love and trust. For most folks, it's going to be their parents. For most folks, it's going to be the adults that are still in their lives the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, whatever.


But the idea is you make that choice And even if so, as a lawyer even if grandpa was paying for it or grandma's paying for it, i can't follow what grandma and grandpa are saying.


I cannot do what they tell me because they pay me. I have to do what my client tells me. So if my client says, no, i want my sister, i don't want my mom, because I don't want them to have access to my medical records, then that's what we prepare, and so, frankly, i think it's very important to respect everybody's adult decision making, but at the same time, i do think it's important that you have somebody that you love and trust so we don't end up in a court if something very bad happens. Yeah, that's the way we deal with that privacy issue, because it's not in parent imposing this on you That we generally don't have the parents in the room when you're signing this. So that way then you can tell us OK, are you sure you're comfortable with this? You make the kids make the decisions. They just have to have somebody that they love and trust who would have access to the medical information and be able to make medical decisions for them if they were unconscious.

Savannah Meksto Guest 14:06

And it's also important to know that these documents can change and grow and evolve. So this plan right now why it might be great for a 21-year-old, when that 20-year-old gets married or has a child or starts working and now has a 401k things like that they're going to want to make an update to that plan. So this is just something that's just for now, that's going to make sure that they're still safe and protected and that you can still be there for them in the way that's really meaningful and important. Of course, all the emotional stuff and the milestones are still, of course, going to always supersede these things until you need them, And then you're going to be really happy that you have them.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 14:44

And that's really important for everybody, for all adults, that you take a look at that every once in a while and make those updates. Has there been a death? Has the person you've appointed moved away? Has there been a divorce? Has there been different things like that? So I recommend that you take a look at that and actually look at the document, because sometimes their memories felt to be think, oh, i appointed my daughter and you look on there and it's actually somebody else. And so really once a year, i think you should take those documents out and look at them.


For our clients, we actually have a process to remind them to do that once a year to look at them. But I'm going to tell you I've been happy a number of times where somebody had an old legal document which was out of date, that probably named the wrong person, but we still had something in place so that when that emergency occurred, we had somebody that we could go to to say, hey, can you help us out because this person's in crisis, and then they'd get advice from the right people and probably follow the instructions of the spouse or the kids or those types of things. But so many times I've been happy that there was an old document there, so while I admit that you should update them when things change, when there's changes in family and circumstances, i still think it's valuable to have that old one, just in case you never get around to updating it, which you should.

Savannah Meksto Guest 16:05

So that's a good idea. An old document is still better than no document at all. That's a good point. So, bob, how would someone, if they wanted to take advantage of this young adult protection plan that we have they're thinking, maybe a grandchild or their child, or maybe there is an actual young adult that's listening to the show that's like maybe I want mom to kind of step in and help. What should they do? How do they get in touch with this?

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 16:31

Yeah, so right now the best way to do that is just to call our phone number. So our 800 number is 1-800-990-6030. And then we're going to streamline the process from there. We're going to make it really simple so that you don't have to spend a whole lot of time on it. But unfortunately right now you actually have to talk to somebody and in fact you actually have to physically come into the office.


If you're a little further away, there is a way that we can do the signing without coming into one of our physical offices, But you will have to come into somebody's office because we're going to need notary and witness. That's something that we can arrange under the right circumstance and even if you're up in the UP or in Grand Rapids or something like that, If you're out of state, then the question is, are you a Michigan resident or not? Because you're going to want the Michigan documents to be a Michigan resident. If you're a resident of another state, then we can refer you to a lawyer in that state. I have a lot of friends that have done a similar program and some of them saw our program and they said we should do that. They copied it. So I have friends from all over the country that would be happy to help you if you are out of state.

Savannah Meksto Guest 17:35

And if you do come to our office, we give you coffee or coke, or diet coke, it's great. You're all really nice, Sometimes like today there might even be cake.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 17:44

So, Jillian, now's probably a good time to gather the crew and bring over the cake, And as she does that, we're going to talk about the podcast.

Savannah Meksto Guest 17:55

Why are you talking about cake, Bob?

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 17:57

It's been one year of podcasts and it's been really fun And we've learned a lot from the podcast process. Absolutely, and you can probably tell as the podcast went on, we got a little bit more professional, a little bit more interesting And we try to keep it short enough that people stay interested And we've interviewed some really, really interesting people.

Savannah Meksto Guest 18:21

Absolutely. Yeah, some people that I've been very impressed that we've been able to get on the show, especially only having this for a year. But you know we're really pleased. I mean, dr Natalie Emmons was huge.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 18:33

She was fantastic.

Savannah Meksto Guest 18:34

Just such a good guest. We actually we haven't released this episode yet. By the time you watch this episode, it will be released. But our last episode 16, where we had attorney Greg Goldenfarb on the show, which was really cool.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 18:45

Greg was great. It's probably one of my favorite. The doctor was actually probably one of my favorites too, but Craig was probably my favorite. I feel like people could watch the Craig Goldenfarb episode and it might actually save some lives Because he really. we talked about those defibrillators. you know, those machines where you see on TV where you put them on the chest and the body jumps. doesn't actually work like that. None of that's true, that's all for TV, but how they should be in everybody's office and they should be on every sports field. And Craig has a charity that he does. that provides those machines and training for youth sports And it's if one more company, one more youth sports team, has that and saves the life because of that broadcast. I'll be very happy about that because it's something that we all should have. It's not that costly. We talk about it on that podcast.

Savannah Meksto Guest 19:38

Yeah, absolutely. Well, it looks like we have some company.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 19:43

Let's go ahead and bring in the cake over there. We've got some cake, we're going to have a little party here, the advice for your advocate is one week of celebration, so we'll show you the cake and then we'll gather around here A little scared that it's going to fall over.

Savannah Meksto Guest 19:58

You're going to be able to see the cake. We actually have an image of Bob showing the cake to the camera. now I'm leaving and we're going to have a fun.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 20:05

I don't know guys. Too many people in an elevator. Everybody come on and cut some cake here. Congratulations on one year for the podcast. Come on in everybody.

Savannah Meksto Guest 20:26

I think this is hilarious.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 20:30

So we see the whole crew, most of the crew, that things happen here. So I appreciate everybody here because we got one week of celebration, i'm going to be the guy. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Savannah Meksto Guest 20:42


Attorney Bob Mannor Host 20:42

Yeah, the team that makes the magic happen here. So we thanks for joining us for our one year anniversary of the advice from your advocates, and don't forget to subscribe.

Savannah Meksto Guest 21:01

Everybody stay podcast. All right, we'll go ahead and cut it and then we'll cut this stuff out later and editing, or maybe. well, listeners Take It. Was the chain to cut it. I'm going to say the cake.

Attorney Bob Mannor Host 21:33

First piece here I was going to think about. Oh, by the way, yeah.

Meet The Producer, Savannah Meksto
The Young Adult Protection Plan
One Year Podcast Anniversary Celebration

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