CHILD OFF TO COLLEGE THIS FALL? CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING BEFORE SHE GOES
Estate planning can help parents care for their baby birds once they fly the coop. So before packing up their clothes and furniture into a moving truck, consider the following:
Health Care Documents.If your child is hospitalized and unable to make her own health care decisions, having an advance health care directive/living will and HIPAA in place gives you, or another designated party, authority to make health decisions on their behalf and provides access to medical information.
Durable Power of Attorney.Should your child be unable to make financial decisions, having a durable power of attorney in place upon your child*s incapacity, or in the event of a long-term absence, helps to ensure that you can, for example, pay their rent and utilities.
Last Will and Testament.It is hard enough thinking that a child may become incapacitated and unable to make their own health care or financial decisions, but having a properly drafted will in place helps give your child a say in how her assets should be addressed and distributed.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (*FERPA*).FERPA is a federal law protecting student privacy relating to their educational records. It may be a good idea to discuss with your child, and have her sign, a FERPA release. That way, in the case of an emergency, you have access to certain educational records and can talk to school officials.