As summer winds down parents and kids are preparing for a brand new school year. Whether your kids are little or headed off to college, you’re busy settling into a new routine. Estate planning is probably the last thing on your mind. But the beginning of a new school year can actually be the perfect time to give your estate planner a call.
During the first week of school most parents have to fill out an emergency contact form. These forms are critical for the safety of your child. You must list who the school should call in case of an emergency when parents can’t be reached, and who might be authorized to make medical decisions for your child if their parents are unavailable. The names you put on these forms can be the perfect way to start thinking about who you (and your children) love and trust enough to serve as guardians of your minor children should anything happen to you. All parents wish to provide for their children and protect them from harm whenever possible. Make sure your legal documents are in order to ensure their safety should something unexpected happen to you.
Parents of college students have a different set of challenges. Despite this being your baby, your child is now considered an adult. This means that hospitals and medical personnel are no longer required to ask the parent’s permission before performing medical procedures. In fact, once your child turns 18, health care providers are no longer allowed to share information with the parents at all. To avoid any roadblocks, you can have your young adult execute two documents:
- A Medical Power of Attorney: Nominate an agent for medical decisions
- A HIPPA Authorization Form: Give permission to receive medical records
Vaccines, school supplies and a new wardrobe are just a few of the many things you need before the bell rings. Taking care of estate-planning at this time can lift a heavy burden of stress from both parents and children, leaving you all free to enjoy the new year together.