When you think of a student’s to-do list prior to leaving for college, you may not have considered your student’s estate plan. However, it should be. Estate planning for college-aged students is becoming more common and can provide protection, comfort, and convenience 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 financial and medical information. This is true even if the student is still on their parent’s insurance plan. 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 more serious 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 a Power of Attorney for financial matters, and a Health Care Power of Attorney and a HIPAA release for medical matters. The college student estate plan does not need to be as expansive of an estate plan that is traditionally contemplated for individuals with assets or children. A Power of Attorney designates agents to make financial and business decisions for the college-aged student. A HIPAA Release allows medical information to be provided to someone other than the student. A Health Care Power of Attorney, often in conjunction with a HIPAA Release, is used to coordinate medical care if the student is unable to act on their own behalf in an emergency or needs assistance with medical decisions.
If you have a student who is attending college, you should consider completing their estate plan 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.