When people think of estate planning, they think of wills, trusts, and the distribution of assets or wealth to spouses or younger family members. However, estate planning pertains to more than just disposition of assets upon death, especially in situations where individuals might not be able to make decisions for themselves. Recent notable incidents have emphasized this more than ever, especially when it pertains to college-aged children who are just leaving home for the first time.
Estate Planning Accounts for Unexpected Life Events
Parents make an undo assumption that they have continued “jurisdiction” of their college-aged children, especially when they remain financially-dependant on mom and dad. However, California law states that once these “dependents” turn 18, they are legally adults. This carries a variety of implications, many of which could prove to be an issue when the unexpected occurs.
For example, HIPAA enforces the privacy of everyone’s medical records, including adult children. This means that a parent could be blindsided when he/she is unable to find out details or make medical decisions on behalf of an unconscious child, or someone who is unable to speak or decide for themselves.
At Sexton Estate Planning, we know first-hand the importance of being prepared. We recommend that parents with children over 18 have the following documents on behalf of their children:
- Advanced Healthcare Directive
- Durable Power of Attorney
- HIPPA Release
- Wills (Optional if child alone possessable assets that are significant, but less than $150,000)
- Access to Bank Accounts
Talk to a Skilled Estate Planning Attorney in Orange County, California
No ones likes to think about the unexpected, especially when it involves young adults who are just starting out on their journey. However, some preparation today could prove to be critical down the road, and the cost of not planning ahead is simply too high.
If you want to learn more, or to speak to an attorney about establishing an estate plan for a college-aged students, know that we at Sexton Estate Planning are here to help. With over 22 years of experience, we have established ourselves as a team of professionals who work tirelessly to protect the interests of our clients, no matter what.
Don’t delay, call our offices at Sexton Estate Planning today.