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Before Your Child Turns 18: Five Documents You Need



When a child turns 18 they are legally considered an adult. As far as the law is concerned, health care, financial, and education-related information will not be disclosed to anyone—even mom, dad, or legal guardian—without the child’s written consent. To help guide you, your child, and other family members through this transition, this planning update outlines the documents and discussions that can keep the lines of communication open and protect the future of your child.


  • Your child turning 18 is an important milestone rife with the excitement of new beginnings.
  • Unless you have certain documents in place when your child turns 18, you will not be able to make any legal decisions on their behalf and lose the ability to access any of their health, education, or financial records.
  • By carefully considering the legal impact that turning 18 has on your child, you may be better equipped to navigate this transition and hopefully avoid any unintended consequences.