Before your child heads off to college, you will probably do everything you can to help them get ready. You’ll help them pack clothes, furniture, books and a wide array of other items to help them feel comfortable and do their best. But did you remember to pack their estate plan?
In the tumult of a move, you might forget about those essential documents. It might be extremely complicated to arrange for these documents with your co-parent.
However, in the event of an emergency, the following documents can help your child and your loved ones make important financial and medical decisions:
- Power of attorney: Discuss with your co-parent and child about who they would like to take legal action over their finances and property. They could name one parent as the “attorney” and the other a successor, but they should make every effort to clarify their choice.
- Health care proxy: Your child will have to choose who they would like to make medical decisions for them. They might choose their parent of the same gender, rather than their main guardian.
- HIPPA waiver: This document entitles a named person to have access to your child’s medical records. This might be the same person or another person than the health care proxy.
- Will: This could be a simple document where your child chooses a person to inherit their assets, such as their college savings account. Parents are often executors and siblings are often the beneficiaries of a young person’s estate.
It might also be a good idea for your child to have a copy of their birth certificate, passport, drivers’ license and other important medical documents or contact information. Be sure they keep these documents in a fireproof safe and that they store the safe in a private, secured place.
If you take the time to start your child’s estate plan with your co-parent as part of preparing them for college, your family can move forward with peace of mind.