You may have been running around for weeks, getting your new college student off to school. It’s exhilarating, and your heart likely is bursting at the seams. You’re probably prouder than you can say, but you’re a little afraid, too. How can you make sure your kid is going to be safe at school, so far away from home? A new Bed Bath and Beyond matching sheet set for the dorm sounds great, but it just doesn’t seem like quite enough, does it? So what else can you do?
Actually, there is something, probably not yet on your to-do list, that absolutely can make all the difference. Bring your child to a local estate planning attorney.
You’ve probably focused on the fact that, having graduated from high school, your kid’s an adult now—meaning that your child’s going to spread her wings. But what is essential to remember: At 18, a college student may still want her mom and dad her side if she gets sick, but legally, decisions for medical care are hers alone. If she were say, unconscious from a serious car accident, a parent couldn’t authorize medical care without first going to court. And it would be up to a judge, if her parent would be considered an appropriate guardian.
We don’t want to worry you, but the unfortunate reality is that, every year, some quarter of a million people between 18 and 25 wind up in the nation’s hospitals, according to Forbes, and their parents are often locked out of critical decisions.
Therefore, experts recommend that everyone over the age of 18 have a basic estate plan that includes a will or trust, a power of attorney, and medical directives that would allow someone they trust to take act on their behalf, if they aren’t able to.
Here are some things to take care of before you send your kid away to college:
We’ve been helping families attain peace of mind for years. Reach out to us today to protect your new college student and your family.