Few things are as exciting as preparing to go off to college. While most college students are legally adults, they still need guidance on many important issues, such as how to manage their health and finances. While parents generally want what is best for their children, they do not always have the resources needed to prepare them for their future properly, and common mistakes and oversights can have negative consequences. If you have questions regarding what measures you can take to prepare your child for college, it is smart to speak to an experienced Corning estate planning attorney.
Mistakes Related to Health Issues
When children are minors, their parents typically make important medical decisions on their behalf and have access to their medical records. Parental rights usually cease when a child reaches the age of majority, though. This means, among other things, that parents of young adults who are going into college can no longer obtain their immunization records or other medical records, access their health information or make decisions regarding any treatment they may need.
While this may seem inconsequential, problems may arise if the child is away at school and needs medical information from health care providers at home or becomes debilitated due to an accident or illness and can’t voice their wishes with regard to their care. As such, it is prudent for young adults to draft a medical power of attorney or health care proxy, granting another party the right to make medical decisions on their behalf in the event they are unable to do so. They should only grant such rights to someone they trust, which in many cases is one of their parents. They can also complete HIPAA releases stating that their parents or other individuals can access their medical records.
Mistakes Related to Finances
In many instances, young adults going off to college do not have significant resources and make the mistake of believing that they will not benefit from estate planning tools. That is not necessarily true, however, as most people have some assets and should plan for how they should be disbursed in the event of their death. For example, they may have cars, money in bank accounts, jewelry, and family heirlooms. It is wise, therefore, for young adults to consider drafting a will so that any of their effects are distributed in accordance with their wishes.
Additionally, they can grant power of attorney rights to another adult to authorize them to handle their finances if they pass away or are otherwise unable to do so. They can also use estate planning tools to determine who has access to their social media accounts if they die or become incapacitated.
Protect Your Child’s Interests with a Corning Estate Planning Attorney
Young adults going off to college should take certain steps to ensure that their finances and health are protected despite what may arise. If you need assistance preparing your child for college, call us today to schedule a meeting at 607-962-6162 or complete this intake form and we’ll be in touch.