May is graduation month. This is a time when many of you are celebrating a child’s academic achievements, and even getting ready to send them off to college. During this hectic time do not overlook important estate planning matters.​ My own daughter is graduating this month from college. Thankfully she took Mom’s advice. With her being away from home, having these documents in place made emergencies easier to handle.

There Are A Few Important Things You Should Add To Your Graduate’s To-Do List As They Get Ready To Go To College.

  1. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
    Every year, nearly 250,000 young adults between the ages of 18-25 wind up in the hospital. From alcohol poisoning and nonlethal accidents to unexpected illnesses, it’s important to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Once a child reaches the age of 18, a parent’s decision making role is significantly diminished, especially in regards to making healthcare decisions.If your child has a car accident, or becomes ill and is not be capable of making their own medical decisions, you cannot make medical decisions on their behalf unless you have a power of attorney for health care.
  2. HIPPA Authorization
    In order to make informed medical decisions, it’s important to include a HIPPA authorization form along with a health care power of attorney. Without it, you will be unable to communicate with healthcare professionals and insurance companies, as well as access your child’s health records and previous treatment information.
  3. Durable Power of Attorney (Finances and Property)
    Similar to a health care power of attorney, a financial power of attorney gives you the ability to make financial decisions on your child’s behalf, should they be unable to do so themselves. Should your child become disabled for any reason, then you would still be able to pay your child’s rent, credit card bills, utilities, access bank accounts and financial records, as well as manage student loans.
  4. FERPA Release
    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is designed to protect a college student’s privacy, but it can also leave parents locked out in an emergency. A properly worded release can allow you to talk to school officials and release pertinent educational records and information should you need it.
  5. Last Will and Testament
    While you may not want to think about this topic, especially as your child leaves home, it’s important to add to the list. A will allows you to honor your child’s wishes on what should be done with their social media accounts, bank accounts, and personal assets. It also allows your child to specify any funeral arrangements they would like to have.

If you have any questions, call Jennifer Medeiros, Esq. at (949) 420-0025 or your estate planning attorney.