No eighteen-year-old wants to think about a living will or a durable power of attorney when they are heading off to college. Likewise, no parent wants to think that their eighteen-year-old child needs documents like this. But the reality is, there are a few bare-bones estate planning basics that even the college freshman could benefit from and that becomes even more important for young adults in their 20s or 30s.
If something happens to your child while they are off at college, you as the parent have no right to see their medical records because of the “HIPAA” rules. Legally, parents are not able to make health care decisions without a signed healthcare directive naming them as agents authorized to act on the child’s behalf while they are incapacitated or unable to speak for themselves.
A durable power of attorney is a document that your young adult children could also benefit from. Powers of attorney name an agent to act on their behalf if they are unable to take manage for their financial affairs. If you, as the parent, are named as the power of attorney for your young adult child, you would be able to pay their bills or handle their financial affairs as needed in an emergency situation.
While most college students do not have substantial assets, a simple will might be needed to designate who should receive his or her assets and belongings in the event of death (even if it is just a baseball card collection). Wills become especially important once young adults have their own children, as this is the document that will name guardians for their minor children.
These simple estate planning documents will give you, and your young adult children, peace of mind in knowing that a plan is in place in case a tragedy occurs.
Tiffany can be contacted at 501-525-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . She can answer any questions you have about this subject.
By: Tiffany Tucker