Even young, college-attending adults should understand estate planning and the need to have certain documents in place in case something happens to them while on campus.
What if you are in a car accident, leading into a coma? What happens if you can no longer take care of yourself? These represent the precise times in which you need specific legal documents that address who will make certain decisions for you.
Medical and durable powers of attorney
In case a medical emergency surfaces, here are some of the documents that college student should have:
- HIPAA authorization: The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) includes a privacy rule. Because of it, parents of college students cannot legally obtain the medical or health care information of their adult children. Having a HIPAA authorization allows you to provide this crucial information to third parties such as your parents.
- Medical power of attorney: This document allows you to name a person to make health care decisions for you if you become incapacitated due to an unfortunate or tragic incident. Naming a parent may be a good choice.
- Durable power of attorney: With this document, a person is appointed to make financial decisions for you if you become incapacitated. Those financial decisions may include signing legal documents, paying bills and managing bank and investment accounts.
These are necessary. It is not a good idea to overlook them, so plan, research and make the crucial decisions now in case an abrupt situation upends your life.
Prepare yourself and gain peace of mind
Some people think that estate planning issues only pertain to certain groups such as newly married couples, new parents, empty nesters and seniors. That is not true. Estate planning questions even surface among college students, so prepare and gain peace of mind.