Estate Planning Tips for Your College-Bound Kids

Back-to-school season used to mean shopping for detailed school-supply lists, attending family ice-cream socials, completing endless forms . . . and then watching in amazement as your child took on the challenge of a new grade. But if your student is now leaving home for college, the BTS checklist gets a little more serious. For one, it’s time to think about an estate plan, but maybe not in the way you’re thinking. These suggested estate planning documents for college-bound kids are primarily focused on healthcare.

Make sure they know before they go.

Your college-bound student should know how to handle a healthcare issue while away at school. Give your student their own copy of the family health insurance card and, if you have coverage, the dental insurance card. Have them create an online account with the insurer and find a few doctors near campus, as well as urgent care centers. If your plan is an HMO and not a PPO, your student may want to call and speak with an agent about where they should go for any health issues while away at school. This is in addition to learning about the on-campus medical services available to students. It’s also a great idea to find a nearby dentist that accepts your dental insurance if you have it.

When medical issues or dental emergencies arise, it’s better to already have a short list of possible providers on hand. Don’t forget about transportation! Some more rural campuses may not yet have rideshare apps, so be sure to have your student explore what transportation options are available if they won’t have their own car on campus.

4 important documents to protect your college-bound student.

1. Healthcare Power of Attorney

A healthcare power of attorney empowers a student by enabling them to:

  • designate someone to be notified if a healthcare crisis arises
  • authorize that person to access their medical records
  • authorize that person to make certain healthcare decisions on their behalf, based on the preferences stated in their advance directive.

Students typically choose their parents as the health care power of attorney.

2. Advance directive

An advance directive is an opportunity for your student to provide instructions about how to make healthcare decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated.

3. Financial power of attorney

A financial power of attorney enables your child to name someone to act on their behalf regarding finances and assets if they become incapacitated. Once again, in the case of a college student, students typically choose their parents for this role.

4. Will

This basic estate planning document expresses your child’s wishes about what happens to their assets and estate if they pass away. Usually, college students don’t have much in the way of assets so the Will can be very simple.

Any scenario in which an estate planning document comes into play for your student is difficult to think about. But should such an event occur, having these protections in place will provide your family the opportunity to focus on the moment and get through it without the distraction of court proceedings to resolve decision-making issues.

Meet with a Virginia Estate Planning Attorney.

Contact Wilson Law PLC for more information about estate planning and legal protections for your college-bound student. Call (866) 603-5976 to schedule an appointment.