So, your kid is off to college. Congratulations! What estate planning documents, if any, should he or she have?
Ideally, he or she should have a Financial Power of Attorney, an Advance Medical Directive, and a HIPAA Release Form (this is the minimum, circumstances may alter the need). If your kid names you, the parent(s), to serve as his or her agent under these documents, you will have the ability to help him or her with financial and medical affairs. You have probably helped your child with these things his or her entire life, but now that your little one is over 18, and a legal adult, you no longer have full, if any, control, unless these documents are executed.
Assuming your child desires to name you, the parent(s) to serve as agents in these roles, these are the powers you would have:
The caveat is that for you to gain the powers mentioned above, your child, now a legal adult, must make the express decision to grant you such powers. Your child has the legal capacity to name any person he or she would like to serve in these roles, including another relative or friend. Understand that paying to have these documents drafted does not change your child’s freedom of choice in these matters.
Lastly, you should know that there is a federal law in place that restricts your right to receive your child’s educational information, even if you are footing the bill. This is called The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. You will not be able to receive any information about your child’s academics unless your child expressly authorizes you, and sometimes the authorization must be renewed with the school on a case by case basis for disclosure. Nevertheless, if your child desires, we can work with him or her to create an authorization that may be accepted.
We congratulate all parents who are guiding their children in this next exciting step of life. To discuss planning for this milestone, give us a call at (301) 468-3220 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Coryn Rosenstock, Esq.