Estate Planning Law

Don’t Send Your Child to College Without an Estate Plan

Imagine for a moment that your child gets into a car accident while they’re off to college. While you would normally be the one making decisions in such circumstances, your parental role changes drastically once your child turns 18.

As such, you are no longer in control of life decisions as they relate to your child. So in the unfortunate event that your child needs medical treatment, you can’t authorize it without going through the courts first. It’s one of the many facts of life that many parents don’t think about when their child officially becomes an adult.

The good news is that you can take steps before your child goes to college to ensure that you have a legal say in important decisions, such as those that could hinge on life and death. The last thing you want is to be unprepared and blindsided by such a challenging ordeal. 

At Doane & Doane, we can help you put the necessary paperwork in place to protect your rights as a caring parent and the rights of your child—rights that you feel have your family’s best interests in mind. So don’t send your child to college without an estate plan in place. Contact us right away to get started and ensure the wellbeing of your child.

What Does an Estate Plan Do?

Talk to an expert on the matter, and most will tell you that everyone 18 or older should have an estate plan. Moreover, the estate plan should include a power of attorney, a trust, and a medical directive. A medical directive authorizes a selected individual (typically a parent) to make critical decisions in a scenario where their 18-year-old is incapacitated or otherwise unable to make sound decisions on their own.

What about the FERPA?

You may have heard discussions about the FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). This act essentially serves to protect the rights and privacy of the student. The only problem is that it can leave you locked out of your child’s medical decisions during an emergency. What’s more, you might not even be able to get updates or any information about your child’s health.

If you speak with our estate planning lawyer, we can assist you in wording the FERPA in a way that allows you to get medical updates regarding your child’s condition. That’s why it’s so important to discuss your estate planning needs with us before sending your child to college.

Let’s look at some essentials that you will want in your child’s estate plan before they leave for college. By having these put in place in advance, you and your child can both have the peace of mind that you will have a say in their healthcare in the event of an emergency.

Will: Wills aren’t usually something young college students think about. But in this day and age, they often have numerous online accounts, profiles, emails, and so on. As such, a will can be handy in giving you access to these online resources should your child be unable to for whatever reason.

Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare: You will need this document to give you the authorization to make medical decisions on your child’s behalf. Likewise, you will also need…

HIPAA Authorization: HIPAA, or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is responsible for keeping your medical information private. When your child signs this authorization, it gives medical providers permission to discuss your child’s care with you. 

Durable Financial Power of Attorney: We can help you set up this document so that you can make financial decisions on your child’s behalf if they’re not able to.

As you can see, there are several components of your child’s estate plan that need to be taken into consideration. When you enlist the services of Doane & Doane, you will meet with an experienced estate planning lawyer to discuss the best estate plan for your child. Our legal experts are here to answer any questions you and your child might have throughout the process. Moreover, we will ensure that you fully understand your rights as parents and what they mean for the interest of your child.

Call Doane & Doane to Meet with an Estate Planning Lawyer

At Doane & Doane, we know how overwhelming it can be when you have a child who’s ready for college. There are so many things to think about as you both plan for the future. That’s why we go above and beyond to make your estate planning as straightforward and easy as possible. If you are ready to meet with an estate planning lawyer in Palm Beach County, please call our law office to arrange a consultation. To get started, call 561-656-0200 or complete our contact form.

The information in this blog post is for reference only and not legal advice. As such, you should not decide whether to contact a lawyer based on the information in this blog post. Moreover, there is no lawyer-client relationship resulting from this blog post, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you need legal counsel, please consult a lawyer licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.