When you think of a student’s to-do list prior to leaving for college, you probably do not think that completing his or her estate plan is at the top of that list. However, it should be. Estate planning for college-aged students is becoming more common and provides protection to both parents and their children while they attend college.
Most students are eighteen by the time they attend college. This means that they are legally an adult and their parents are no longer entitled to receive their confidential medical information. This is true even if the student is still on their parent’s insurance plan. This can be a big change for both parents and their children. While this may just be an annoyance for the student that their parents cannot make doctor’s appointments for them or help coordinate their medical care, this can also lead to issues in the event of an emergency. This concern has been highlighted this year due to COVID and its related issues.
An estate plan for a college-aged student includes powers of attorney, and a HIPAA release. This is not as expansive of an estate plan as is contemplated for individuals with assets or children. A Power of Attorney designates agents to make medical and financial decisions for the college-aged student in the event of their incapacity or inability to make decisions. A HIPAA Release allows medical information to be provided to someone other than the student. This can be used for something as routine as scheduling medical appointments or obtaining vaccine records, or it can be used to coordinate medical care and make medical decisions in the event of an emergency.
If you have a student who is attending college, you should put completing their estate plan at the top of their to-do list before they leave for college. Contact the experienced attorneys at Slotegraaf Niehoff, P.C. to discuss an estate planning package for your college-aged student.