Why Would A Student Need A Plan?
If you have a student who is college bound, there are things you can do that can help put your mind at ease. Of all those things, why do they need an estate plan? Well, since they are generally 18 or older, they are considered an adult. You may not be privy to their health records or have the authority to make healthcare decisions in an emergency. Let’s take a look at four things you can incorporate into your students estate plan. Bear in mind, this plan could mean the difference between life and death. It’s THAT important, especially if your child is out of state or away from home.
4 Things To Include:
Remember that everyone’s needs are different when it comes to estate planning. Your college age student may need a plan specifically for special needs or perhaps religious views. Here are four of the most important things to include:
1) Last Will & Testament– Outline your student’s wishes about decisions concerning life-extending medical treatment and/or organ donation.
2) Durable Power of Attorney– Be sure to include this document; it’s what will allow your child to authorize you to manage their financial affairs while incapacitated. This could take effect immediately or in the future, if they should become mentally or physically unable to do so. Effectively, this allows the parents to continue to pay the students bills on their behalf. You can also apply for any benefits that they are potentially eligible for.
3) Advance Health Care Directive– Also known as a “Proxy” in some circles, this is a health care power of attorney document. If your adult child is unconscious, this gives you the power to determine which courses of treatment doctors may or may not pursue.
4) HIPAA Authorization– Ensure (as their parent) that you are not kept in the dark about their health condition(s). Include a signed HIPAA authorization form in the estate plan in case of a health care emergency. Just be sure to include the specific HIPAA authorization form for your state.
Discuss these decisions with your adult child beforehand so that you can honor their wishes in the event of an emergency. While we can’t prevent accidents, we can help prepare you for them so that you and your child are setup for success!
Abercrombie, Sanchez & Wood Law provides probate, division of property, estate litigation and guardianship services for people of all ages. If you or your college student require assistance establishing a written will or any of the aforementioned documents, our attorneys are here to help you as well. Reach out to us on our website, DM or call us today at 888-981-7509. Our team of attorneys use their expertise to put your mind at ease while your child is away at college.