It’s always a good idea to have your children prepare their estate planning documents after turning 18. This year, it’s more important than ever to have your children prepare a Living Will before going back to college.
Why It’s Important to Have a Living Will
Remember, if your child is over the age of 18, you will not legally have access to their medical information. Doctors and hospitals are bound by strict HIPPA rules, even during this pandemic. You may also want to have your child sign a Will, Financial Power of Attorney (POA), and a FERPA waiver.
If your child does not have proper legal documents, you may have to apply for a guardianship in the state where the child is living. A guardianship hearing can take months and is a fairly expensive process. It is usually easy to avoid having to go to Court if your child signs a Living Will and a POA before going back to college.
Most schools are offering online only options and hybrid schooling options. However, remember, they want to hang out with their friends. They want to get together, and it’s easy not to be vigilant 100% of the time. We all hope our loved ones don’t get sick, but it is best to be prepared in case they do.
What’s the Difference Between a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will
The difference between a Health Care Power of Attorney and a Living Will is that a Health Care Power of Attorney names a person to make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so yourself. You give your agent access to medical information. You enable them to consent to medical treatment. It is potentially a long term role. The general purpose of a Living Will is to express whether you would want extreme measures to be taken to keep you alive if you are brain dead or terminally ill.
These two documents are often confused for one another. Also, most law firms, including ours, prepares the HCPOA and Living Will together as one form. In case you are wondering if you need an Advanced Directive for Health Care, it is the same thing as a Living Will.
How The Pollock Firm Can Help
Many colleges are starting earlier. Accordingly, if you wish to have your children prepare a Living Will before going back to college, we will be waiving our normal rush rates. To make the process more time and cost efficient, we are willing to prepare these documents following a video conference with your child. Then, we can either mail the documents out to you, or we can arrange to have the estate planning documents signed outdoors under a tent.
Stay safe and healthy.