As high school graduates are preparing for college, there is one thing they should add on their to-do list…..estate planning. As a parent you might be thinking, my 18 year old has no assets, but there is more to estate planning than you may think. If your child is going away for college there are a few things you might want to keep in mind. If you are actively involved in your child’s finances, such as paying for tuition, housing or anything else, you will not have access to his or her financial accounts without a general power of attorney or financial power of attorney. A general power of attorney is a document which allows you to access your child’s financial accounts, to do things like, view his or her tuition balance, scholarship awards or simply pay a bill.
You may also want to have a healthcare power of attorney or designation of healthcare surrogate in place before sending your child to college in the event that your child needs assistance with medical related problems. For example, if your child becomes incapacitated, this document will allow you to make health care decisions for your child. A HIPAA release is also important if your child is in the hospital and you would like to access his or her health care information, as this document gives you permission to do so.
These simple, yet crucial documents should be taken into consideration as you send your child off to college. Our probate attorney can help you prepare these documents. Give us a call at (954) 515-5000 for more information.