Congratulations on your child’s high school graduation! Your graduate deserves acknowledgement for their hard work and the achievements they earned, but let’s not overlook the tremendous role that you, as a loved one, played in their success. Without your support and guidance, they most likely would not have reached this educational milestone.
You’ve shared your wisdom and advice, helped them plan their future course. Now it’s time for your child to embark upon their next journey in life: work or continued education. Before you turn your new “adult” out into the world, there is one last thing you should help them complete when they turn 18: estate planning. While you may not think 18 year olds need estate planning, there are three basic documents which every young adult needs:
1. Durable General Power of Attorney
The first necessary component of a young adult’s plan is a durable general power of attorney. Through a durable general power of attorney, your teen designates someone to make business and financial decisions. The durable general power of attorney can be set up as either “springing” or “non-springing”. A “springing” durable general power of attorney becomes effective only if your child becomes incapacitated; at that time it “springs” into action. Should your child be involved in an accident or suffer an illness and be unable to pay their rent or other bills, their appointed agent could make those payments and communicate with financial institutions and school officials until such time as he or she recovers.
A “non-springing” durable general power of attorney is effective as soon as it is signed. This document might be necessary if you have a child going to school in another country or far out of state. That child is not unable to handle their own matters, but, nonetheless, might need you to assist with some of their affairs for them while they are so far away from home.
2. Health Care Power of Attorney
A Health Care Power of Attorney is the second document recommended for all young adults. This document allows the young adult to name a person (a/k/a agent) to make medical decisions for them if they are unable to make such decisions themselves. The agent will work with doctors and other health care providers to provide the young adult with the care that they would want. Once the patient regains their capacity, the young adult can simply go back to making their own healthcare decisions. Many young adults move away from home to work or attend school where they no longer have a relationship with local physicians. By having a health care power of attorney in place when an emergency arises, the young
Attorney Megan L. McCann has lived most of her life in Southwest Kansas. As a youth, Megan excelled in academia and music and was heavily involved in multiple school activities. Her summers were spent earning money for college by working as an aide in the community nursing home, mowing lawns, keeping cattle records for a local farmer and helping behind the counter at the neighborhood soda shop. Because academics came easily to Megan, and as the eldest daughter of a banker and a school librarian, the idea of obtaining a degree in higher education was always part of her plan.
A graduate of Kansas State University with a major in accounting, Megan finished her degree in three years while working two part-time jobs. Subsequently, she obtained her law degree from Washburn Law School. While attending KSU, Megan met her husband, Tyler, a civil engineering technician, and they were married after Megan’s first year of law school. Her legal career began as an estate planning associate for Steven W. Graber, P.A., in Manhattan, KS. It was during this time that Megan and Tyler’s first child, Mara, was born.
In 2010, Megan was invited to return to Southwest Kansas to join attorney Tamara L. Davis at Tamara L. Davis, P. A. Megan and Tyler were thrilled to be able to be closer to family and thus, with a little one in tow, made the move back to Megan’s childhood hometown. Four years later, Megan was made a partner of the firm and the firm name officially changed to Davis & McCann, P. A.
Megan and Tyler have three young children: Mara (10), Tristan (8), and Bethany (2). You can frequently see the McCann vehicle on the roads of Southwest Kansas as they keep busy traveling to school and youth sporting events. Due to her husband’s desire to return to country living, the couple purchased an old farmhouse in rural Gray County in 2015. Their house has a unique history, having been built near Windthorst, KS, southeast of Spearville, KS in the early 1900s and moved to its current location north of Ensign, KS, in 2003. It also was the childhood home of a fellow Davis & McCann staff member for many years. Megan and her husband have finished a complete remodel of the second and third stories of the home and are currently tackling the main floor, doing most of the construction themselves.
Megan is an avid reader and you can often find her sitting in the swing on her wrap-around porch with a book in hand. During her spare time, she enjoys playing with her kids, fishing with her family at 99 Springs lake, helping out at her church, particularly with special music, and visiting Tyler’s family in Western Colorado.
You may contact Megan at Davis & McCann, P. A., Dodge City, KS, 620-225-1674. They are members of Wealth Counsel, a national consortium of Estate Planning Attorneys and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). We focus our practice on providing clients with the best legal advice on Estate Planning, Medicaid and Long-term Care Planning, Special Needs Planning, Family Business/Small Business Succession Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Real Estate Transactions, and related matters.
Tamara was born in Anthony, Harper County, KS and spent her first five years Cimarron, KS where her father was the band instructor, before the family moved back to the farm in Harper County. She loves to reminisce about cooking with her grandmother for the cutting crew and then later, driving the grain cart during wheat harvest. Growing up, in addition to farming, her family operated a large poultry operation. She enjoyed her years on the farm and spending time with grandparents, cousins and her brother. She attended undergraduate school at Wichita State University, majoring in Business Administration and Finance and obtained her law degree from the University of Tennessee.
Tamara is the founding partner of Davis & McCann, P. A., having opened her own solo practice in 2003 after working as an associate for Pain Swiney and Tarwater in Knoxville, TN and then Hershberger, Patterson, Jones and Roth and Foulston Siefkin, both in Wichita, KS.
Tamara and her husband Lloyd, a financial adviser, have lived in Western Kansas since 1998. They met in Kansas in 1982, when Tamara was in college and Lloyd was in graduate school in Virginia. After dating long distance for three years, they were married in 1985. They have three grown children: Austin, AlexMarie, and Parker. Austin owns and operates businesses in Lawrence, Kansas and Enid, Oklahoma. His wife, Kristen, works for State Farm Insurance and they are expecting the first grandchild this July. AlexMarie is pursuing her B.S. in Dental Hygiene at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, and her fiancé, Adrian Gomez (also a Dodge City native) is a dentist in Olathe, KS. They are to be married this fall. Parker and his wife, Katrina, met as students at the United States Air Force Academy, and both are currently active duty Air Force Officers. Parker is a pilot and Katrina is a logistics officer.
Tamara and Lloyd love to travel, and have many stamps in their passports. During her spare time, she enjoys gardening, cooking (her current interest is plant-based cooking), reading, playing the piano and spending time with Lloyd, their children, and her parents, brother and his family at their family home at Lake of the Ozarks.
You may contact Tamara at Davis & McCann, P. A., Dodge City, KS, 620-225-1674. They are members of Wealth Counsel, a national consortium of Estate Planning Attorneys and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). They focus their practice on providing clients with the best legal advice on Estate Planning, Medicaid and Long-term Care Planning, Special Needs Planning, Family Business/Small Business Succession Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Real Estate Transactions, and related matters.
In an age where estate planning is considered a low priority item by some, and an extravagance by others, are there any circumstances that necessitate immediate estate planning? In our experience, if you answer “NO” to one or more of the following statements about your life circumstances, we strongly suggest that you consider doing some estate planning:
1. I have executed a Healthcare Power of Attorney to appoint an agent of my choice to make medical decisions for me in the event that I am unable to make such decisions for myself. My agent has agreed to serve on my behalf in this capacity and either has a copy of the legal document I have signed or knows where to obtain one.
2. I have executed a General Durable Power of Attorney to appoint an agent of my choice to handle my financial affairs for me in the event that I am unable to. My agent has agreed to serve on my behalf in this capacity and either has a copy of the legal document I have signed or knows where to obtain a copy.
3. I have appointed someone in my Last Will and Testament to care for my minor children if I am unable to. They have agreed to serve in this capacity and know where to obtain a copy of the legal document in the event of my death.
4. I have created a secure way for trusted individuals to access and manage my digital assets, records and profiles and ensured that such individuals are aware of this and know where to look for this information.
If your answer was “NO” to any of the above statements, then you risk not being able to choose who you would want to take care of you or your children in the event of your incapacity or death. Instead, the Court would have this responsibility. This means that in addition to being a costlier proceeding, you would also have no say over how your medical or financial decisions would be made. Would you approve of your house being sold, being placed in a nursing home facility (not of your choosing), or your financial investments being liquidated by someone you didn’t choose? If any of these situations make you the least bit uncomfortable, you should consult an experienced estate planning attorney today.
For more information on estate planning, contact Davis & McCann, P. A., Dodge City, KS. We are members of Wealth Counsel, a national consortium of Estate Planning Attorneys and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). We focus our practice on providing clients with the best legal advice on Estate Planning, Medicaid and Long-term Care Planning, Special Needs Planning, Family Business/Small Business Succession Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Real Estate Transactions, and related matters.
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