If your college-age child is home for the holidays, it may be the perfect opportunity for the two of you to meet with an estate planning attorney to draft an estate plan for him or her.
Even though college students typically don’t have many assets, it’s critical to at least have these four documents in place if an unforeseen incident occurs while your child is away at school:
Will. Although your child is still in his or her upper teens or early twenties, he or she isn’t too young to have a will drawn up. The will specifies the disposition of his or her assets and can tie up other loose ends of the estate.
Health care power of attorney. With a health care power of attorney, your child appoints someone to act as his or her proxy or surrogate for health care decisions. You or your spouse are typically designated as the attorney-in-fact for this purpose.
HIPAA authorization. To accompany the health care power of attorney, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization allows healthcare providers to share information about your child’s medical condition with you and your spouse. Without HIPAA authorization, making health care decisions for your child can be significantly more difficult.
Financial power of attorney. This legal document enables you and your spouse to conduct financial activities on your child’s behalf. A “durable” power of attorney, which is the most common form, continues in the event that your child becomes incapacitated.
If you and your child are ready to create a basic estate plan, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be pleased to help give your family the peace of mind that comes with having an estate plan.