So after jumping through all of the necessary hoops to get your child who just graduated from high school admitted and settled into college, you may be breathing a sigh of relief now that it is October. By now, hopefully your child is making new friends, busily working on a paper for English 101, and is responsibly enjoying all of the freedoms that college brings to a young person. But there may be some things you forgot to do before they left. One of those things involves estate planning.
Why would a college kid need estate planning? The simple answer is that once your child turns eighteen, they are an adult in the eyes of the law and you, as a parent, no longer have the automatic right to act on their behalf medically and financially. What if your child should have an accident and need medical care? Without a HIPAA authorization and healthcare proxy you will not have the automatic right to your child’s medical information or to make healthcare decisions on their behalf. Similarly, in the absence of a power of attorney, you will not have any access or authority over their financial affairs. Another thing to consider is obtaining a waiver under FERPA to gain access to your child’s college records.
Ultimately, as an adult, it is up to your son or daughter whether to put the above measures into place, but if you neglected to discuss these matters with your child in your fury to help them get situated in college, when they return home for the holidays it may be a good opportunity to address these important considerations.
Contact the Law Office of Brandon L. Campbell to learn more about planning for a child in college.