Get Your Graduate Ready for the Next Step with These Gotta-Have Tools!

Summer is finally here!  Many parents are recovering from graduation parties celebrating academic achievements or in the midst of planning festivities – and preparing for the empty nest.  Keep in mind there are important estate planning matters that should not be overlooked during this busy time.

Here’s the Parents’ Estate Planning To-Do List for the graduates in your life:

  1. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

Once a child reaches the age of 18, a parent’s decision-making role is significantly diminished, especially in regard to making healthcare decisions and financial decisions.

Should your child get in a car accident or fall ill and is not be capable of making their own medical decisions, then without a durable health care power of attorney naming the parents as health care agents for the child, you do not automatically have a right to your child’s protected health information and cannot necessarily make medical decisions on your child’s behalf. If you want to ensure that you can continue to make healthcare decisions for your child should a health situation arise, creating a health care power of attorney should be at the top of your to-do list.

  1. HIPAA Authorization

In order to make informed medical decisions, it’s important to include a HIPAA authorization form along with a health care power of attorney. Without it, as parents, you would be unable to communicate with healthcare professionals and insurance companies, as well as unable to access your child’s health records and previous treatment information.

  1. Durable Financial Power of Attorney

Similar to a health care power of attorney, a financial power of attorney gives parents the ability to make financial decisions on their child’s behalf should they be unable to do so themselves or to keep access to financial information. Should your child become disabled for any reason, as parents, you would still be able to pay their rent, credit card bills, utilities, access bank accounts and financial records, as well as manage any loans they may have.

  1. Last Will and Testament

While many parents don’t want to think about this topic, especially as their child leaves the nest, a Will is an important one to add to the list. A Will allows parents to honor their child’s wishes on what should be done with their social media accounts, bank accounts, and personal assets. It also allows the child to specify any funeral arrangements they would like to have.

While high school graduation often brings tears- both happy and sad, we want your family to be protected and ready for the next step.  It’s a time to prepare your graduate for adulthood with the above planning that will protect them and their wishes, and also help Mom and Dad be there when help is needed.

Congratulations to all the graduates on their hard work – and here’s to Mom and Dad for walking them through it!

To learn more about our estate planning college kits, please contact Legacy Law Firm, P.C. at (605) 275-5665 to schedule a free consultation today.

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