5 Critical Estate Plan Documents for College-Bound Kids
For many college-bound kids, this is the first time they’ve lived away from their parents. It’s an exhilarating and frightening time with lots of new experiences and things to learn. Preparing for death or impairment is not nearly as fun as decorating your first dorm room. But even young people need estate planning to make sure their affairs are handled easily if the unthinkable happens. Let’s look at some of the critical estate plan documents a college-bound young person needs:
- Will. A Last Will and Testament spells out a person’s final wishes, specifically how they want their stuff to be distributed. Maybe a young person doesn’t have a lot of valuable property, but there will almost always be keepsakes or sentimental items that, if they really think about it, they want certain people to have. Jewelry, collections, clothing, items from high school – these are all things that a young person might want to bequeath to someone special. Cars, bank accounts, and other valuable property can be distributed through Wills or joint ownership.
- Durable Power of Attorney. Simply put, this document allows someone to name an agent to handle their affairs. You can decide whether you want the agent to have powers now or only if you are unable to make your own decisions. This person might do things like pay your bills or make sure your salary is paid to the right bank account.
- Durable Health Care Power of Attorney. By signing this document, you state who can make medical decisions for you if you are not able to. The person you select should be someone you trust and should understand your beliefs.
- HIPAA Release. HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Among other things, HIPAA protects patients’ health care information. Signing a HIPAA release form tells healthcare providers who they can talk to or give access to your medical records.
- Inventory to Digital Assets. Digital assets are “any digital record that you own or have control over.” Online financial records and social media are two types of digital assets. Young adults should put together a spreadsheet of all their digital assets, including how to access them, and give this list to their estate planning attorney. It’s a little scary, thinking of giving access to online accounts, but you can specify that the list should only be accessed after your incapacity or death.
Hopefully, a young adult’s estate planning documents will remain locked away and never used, but it’s best to have them in place if something does happen. A parent dealing with a gravely ill or deceased child does not need the added burden and expense of going to court to get permission to make crucial decisions.
Contact a Sympathetic Arizona Attorney
Has your son or daughter recently headed off to college? It’s not too late to discuss their estate plans with them. They may scoff at the need for a plan, or may just feel squeamish talking about death, but it’s important to get these documents into place.
To learn more about life care planning, check out some of our free videos at keystonelaw.com. You can also call us at (480) 418-8448 to discuss your needs. Although located in Chandler, we have clients from all over Arizona, including Ahwatukee and Sun Lakes.