If you have a child that is headed for college next year or who is already in college, you have undoubtedly gone through several important changes as your child turns into an adult. One thing that may not have occurred to you with all the other changes is the need for your now adult child to create a basic estate plan. To help get you and your child started, the Long Island attorneys at Eghrari Wealth Training Firm explain why your college student should have a basic estate plan in place.
Your Child Is Now an Adult
As a parent, you likely looked forward to your child reaching adulthood with both trepidation and excitement. Knowing that you got your child through his/her childhood and that your child is off to college is something to celebrate; however, it can also be a bit daunting to realize that your child is now legally responsible for himself or herself. Moreover, you may not think about all the implications of your child becoming a legal adult. For example, you no longer have the responsibility – or even the right – to legally consent to medical treatment for your child. The same concept applies to your child’s college records. Even if you are paying your child’s college expenses, you do not have the legal right to access your child’s records or even enter his/her living quarters without your child’s permission. What happens if your child is injured or sick and unable to give consent for medical treatment? What if you need to access your child’s financial accounts or remove things from his/her room while your child is in the hospital? These are many of the same concerns that likely prompted you to create your own estate plan. It only makes sense that they should also provide motivation for the creation of an estate plan for your young adult child.
What Should Be Included in My College Student’s Estate Plan?
Now that you recognize the wisdom of getting your college student started on an estate plan, it helps to consider what should be included in that plan. As with your own plan, you should work closely with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure that the plan is tailored to the needs of your young adult child; however, some basic estate planning tools for a college student include:
- Last Will and Testament. Although your college student may not have amassed valuable assets at this age, it is still wise to have a basic Will in place to avoid leaving behind an intestate estate should tragedy strike.
- Healthcare Power of Attorney. A healthcare POA allows your child to designate an Agent (you or your spouse likely) to make healthcare decisions for your child if he/she cannot make or communicate those decisions because of an illness or injury that results in incapacity.
- Financial Power of Attorney. Having a durable POA in place ensures that you can access your child’s financial accounts and act in his/her place in legal matters (if the POA specifies) if the need arises.
- HIPAA release. Having your child sign a HIPAA release lets you gain access to your child’s medical records now that he/she is an adult.
Having these basic estate planning documents in place ensures that your young adult child’s estate planning needs are met and creates a great foundation upon which your child can build his/her estate plan in the future.
Is Your College Student Ready to Start an Estate Plan?
For more information, we encourage you to download one FREE estate planning worksheet. If you and your college student are ready to get started on an estate plan, contact the Long Island estate planning attorneys at Eghrari Wealth Training Firm by calling us at 631-265-0599 to schedule your appointment.