Estate Plans Are Important for College Students and Their Parents

New York Estate Planning Attorney

Help from a New York Estate Planning Attorney

When children turn 18 and head off to college, they are considered to be adults. At this age, they are responsible for making decisions about their health. Because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA, parents of college students do not have the legal right to their adult children’s health information or medical records. This can make it very difficult for parents to step in and help if their adult children need medical attention, which is especially problematic when parents are far away. Unfortunately, the privacy provisions of HIPAA still apply even when the students remain on their parent’s medical insurance.

When your 18 year old is college bound you as parents might have many different tasks to complete. At the top of the list for parents and students to consider is estate planning. While many people view estate planning as something to worry about when they get older, young adults need to have certain key documents in place. New York estate planning attorney Lesly R. Devereaux helps parents and their college age children create estate plans that include essential documents prepared for unforeseen occurrence while away from home.

Why College Students Need Estate Plans

College students derive several benefits from estate planning. Writing an estate plan allows young adults and their parents to make crucial medical decisions if and when they are needed. Estate planning can also allow students to grant the authority to their parents to make financial decisions for them if necessary. Having the right documents in place can allow parents to access medical records, make medical decisions, and gain access to their adult children’s financial information if they become incapacitated and unable to make decisions.

Without an estate plan, the parents of adult children students will not be able to access medical information or make medical decisions if an accident occurs. Having access to financial information can also be critical if the parents might need to make tuition, rent, utilities, or credit card payments for their children if they become incapacitated.

Three Documents College Students Should Have

Before young adult children head off to college, they should have the following three forms in place at a minimum:

  • HIPAA authorization
  • Health care power of attorney
  • Durable financial power of attorney

A signed HIPAA authorization granting access to parents for their child’s medical information will allow parents to receive critical information from doctors and other medical professionals about their child’s health and medical conditions. A health care power of attorney allows a young adult to designate his or her parents as their agents so that they can make medical decisions for their child. A durable financial power of attorney allows a student to give his or her parents the authority to make financial decisions for him or her if doing so becomes necessary, including if a student has become incapacitated.

Other Documents

Other documents that might be important include a FERPA waiver and a will. A FERPA waiver allows parents to access their student’s confidential educational information, including grades and transcripts. Writing a will can provide students the ability to determine how their assets will be distributed in the event they suddenly pass away.

Obtaining a New York Estate Planning Attorney

Meeting with an experienced New York estate planning lawyer at the law firm of Lesly R. Devereaux, Esq. before your child goes to college can provide both you and your child with peace of mind and protection. Lesly R. Devereaux has substantial experience helping young adults and their parents with their estate planning needs. Contact New York s estate planning lawyer Lesly R. Devereaux for your college student today to request a consultation.

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