Do College-Bound Kids Need an Estate Plan?
In short, the answer is yes. But often not in the traditional “I hereby bequest . . . “ sense. Most 18-year-olds don’t have much in the way of assets quite yet. But their health and health care decisions are paramount. And financial decision-making may also need to be addressed. If you have a student heading away from home to attend college, consider these four important legal documents that you may want to have in place before they go.
5 important documents to consider for your college-bound student.
1. Health Care Proxy
A Health Care Proxy allows your student to:
- name the person they want notified if a healthcare crisis arises
- give that person access their medical records
- authorize that person to make certain healthcare decisions for them, according to the student’s preferences stated in a living will (see 2, below).
Students often choose their parents for their healthcare proxy but can choose someone else. For example, an older sibling, a favorite aunt who is also a doctor, or a relative local to campus may also be good choices.
2. Living Will
In a Living Will, your student can give instructions and guidance about how to make healthcare decisions on for them if they become incapacitated.
3. HIPAA Release
A HIPAA Release is a document that lists who may obtain your private medical information and do things such as talk with medical providers or obtain copies of your medical records.
4. Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney can be an important document to have in place. It enables your student to name someone to act for them regarding their finances and assets if they become incapacitated. Students typically—but need not—choose their parents for this role.
5. Last Will and Testament
If your student does have some assets, a Last Will and Testament (a “Will”) might be in order. The Will details your students wishes about what happens to their assets and estate if they pass away.
Going away to college is a happy and exciting time for families. While it is difficult to think about any situation in which your student would need the kind of safeguards these documents can provide, having them in place can provide protection for your student and peace of mind for you.
Meet with a Corning Estate Planning Attorney.
If you’d like to discuss protecting your college-bound student, Roth Elder Law, PLLC would be happy to start that conversation. Call us today to schedule an initial meeting at 607-962-6162 or complete this intake form and we’ll be in touch.