Important Estate Planning Tools for College Students

Important Estate Planning Tools for College Students

While most college students who are young adults probably don’t pay a second thought to estate planning, it can be highly beneficial to get some simple estate planning documents in order. The importance of doing so is even greater during the time of a pandemic. Students who are back at campus this fall are  at higher risk of exposure, especially those attending in-person classes or living in dormitories or Greek houses.

For college students, who generally have very few assets and may still live permanently with their parents, the focus in estate planning can simply be on taking steps to make it easier for parents to assist in the event of a medical emergency. Here are a few legal documents that make this possible:

  • Designation of healthcare surrogate: With a designation of a healthcare surrogate, you can designate another person to be your agent in the event you become incapacitated and unable to make your own medical decisions. For college students, your chosen agent is most likely to be one of your parents.
  • HIPAA authorization: This document allows a third party (your parents) to access your medical history and health information, which can be important for making medical decisions on your behalf.
  • Durable power of attorney: This document allows your chosen agent (perhaps, one of your parents) to make financial transactions and decisions on your behalf if you become capacitated.
  • Before you were 18 years old, these jobs fell automatically to your parents. After you became an adult, it falls to you to make these appointments in writing.

Designations of healthcare surrogates and HIPAA authorizations are especially important during the time of COVID, as some treatments for severe cases involve patients being placed on ventilators while they are sedated and therefore unable to make their own decisions.

For more information about estate planning for college students, contact an experienced Tampa attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.