Estate Planning Tips for Kids Heading Off to College
Simple Estate Planning for Students
It is back-to-school season and many students have moved to college campuses for the very first time.
For parents, having a child reaching legal adulthood, leaving home for the first time, and spending extended amounts of time away can be a bit of a shock. In the era of COVID-19, there can also be an understandably larger amount of concern about the child’s wellbeing when they leave home.
Taking all of this into account, it is sensible to perform some simple tasks for any college-aged children you have living away at campus. Here are 4 important documents and legal protections to put in place with estate planning for students.
1. Healthcare Proxy
With a healthcare proxy (also known as healthcare power of attorney) document, a student can:
(1) choose an individual to be notified of any healthcare crises that arise;
(2) authorize that chosen person to access their medical records; and
(3) allow that person to make certain healthcare decisions on their behalf, generally in accordance with preferences laid out in advance directives.
For students, their parents are typically chosen as the healthcare proxy.
2. Advance directives
Advance directives contain instructions about the kinds of healthcare decisions the student would like should they be unable to make those decisions themselves due to incapacitation.
3. Financial power of attorney
Financial power of attorney is a document that enables a chosen individual to act on behalf of the student for financial matters. Once again, in the case of a college student, parents are commonly chosen. This legally allows parents to manage finances and assets if the child becomes unable to do so themselves.
A will is the most basic estate planning document. The will is used to outline the student’s wishes with regard to what happens to their assets and estate upon their passing. Because college students typically do not have very many assets, their wills are also quite likely to be very simple.
Know the Health Providers
Beyond creating these simple estate planning documents, college students going away to campus and their families should also take other steps to ensure their safety. Take note of where hospitals and urgent care clinics are near the university, and investigate the services offered by the campus’s own health system. Students should also find trusted people in their dorms or friend groups who they can go to for assistance in an emergency scenario.
Parents should make sure to send their children back to school with copies of their health insurance card in the event of an urgent care or hospital trip.
For more information about estate planning for students and legal protections for a college student who is away at school, contact an experienced estate planning lawyer at Baker Law Group, P.C.
About Baker Law Group P.C.
Baker Law Group specializes in Elder Law, Estate Planning and Estate Administration. Our offices are located Hingham, Plymouth, Brockton, and Holliston Massachusetts. View our attorney profiles.
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