With all of the details that require attention when sending a child off to college, it can be easy toÂ forget that executing certain estate planning documents is also an essential part of theÂ preparations. Nonetheless, failing to attend to this need can have dire consequences and so it isÂ important that the task not fall off your to-do list.
Every individual who has reached the age of majority needs a basic estate plan as at this stageÂ parents lose the automatic ability to intervene in financial and healthcare-related matters. This isÂ especially true for college students who are often far away and navigating independent adulthoodÂ for the first time.
Essential documents that any Texan over the age of 18 needs include the following:
1. Texas Last Will and Testament
A Will determines how your assets will be distributed when you die. While young adultsÂ may not think they have enough assets to justify executing a Will, even simpleÂ possessions like sentimental objects count. Whatâ€™s more, a bank account, basicÂ investment portfolio, or vehicle are of enough value to justify taking a vested interest inÂ determining where they end up should the unthinkable happen. Lastly, a Will is a livingÂ document that you update as your assets grow and so it makes sense to start early so thatÂ nothing is overlooked.
2. Texas Durable Power of Attorney
Unforeseen accidents can happen to anyone at any time. Should you fall ill or sufferÂ incapacitating injury, you will want to know that a person has been appointed to manageÂ financial affairs like paying bills, keeping up with rent, or managing importantÂ transactions while you are unable to do so. This document achieves exactly this. ParentsÂ of young adults will want to be especially sure that their child has a durable power ofÂ attorney in place so that they may intervene as needed.
3. Texas Medical Power of Attorney
A medical power of attorney, like its financial counterpart, allows you to designate aÂ trusted loved oneâ€”usually a parent for young adultsâ€”to make decisions on your behalf.Â Unlike the above, this document deals with medical instead of money-related matters, ofÂ course.
4. HIPAA Authorization
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law thatÂ prohibits just anyone from accessing your medical records or receiving your healthÂ information. A HIPAA Authorization allows you to grant a person this privilege. ThisÂ document is especially important for students as health centers at any educationalÂ institution will require such permission before sharing any healthcare-related informationÂ with parents.
5. FERPA Authorization
Another permission essential for students, a FERPA Authorization is a document that grants named individuals the right to access student educational records. University health centers in some states require FERPA Authorization to release health records and so it is important to check with your institution to determine whether this is a document you need to sign.
To learn more about the estate planning needs of young adults and Texas college students, do not hesitate to reach out to the Hailey-Petty Law FirmÂ either by callingÂ (512) 910-8977 in Austin, (210) 570-2458 in San Antonio or by using theÂ contact formÂ on our website.