Being Legally Prepared for College

Remove the worry by having your college student legally ready for college

A great part of life is seeing children grow up.  Whether you have a child, grandchild, niece or nephew, or friends heading off to college it can be quite a planning process to make sure the young adult has all their needs met for life in the real world.  One thing often overlooked is legal documents for your college student.  As young people move from children to adults, their legal status makes an immediate shift.
   Privacy of patient information in hospital and medical records.  If a newly minted young adult is in the hospital, a signed HIPPA release form is required for the doctors or the hospital to provide any information about the adult.
Insurance companies may have different coverages for anyone family members now old enough to vote. Proactively contact your insurance company to understand any differences in coverage.  No one wants any surprises when dealing with insurance for medical care.
Arizona has what is known as a “health care proxy”.  This statute allows a person’s next of kin to make their health care decisions during a medical crisis.  A medical crisis occurs when a person is unable understand or communicate their medical treatment choices because of a mental health issue.  The “health care proxy” does have some limitations as advanced mental health care treatment or removal from life support are only allowed with a court order. A legal document to circumvent the court in these instances is called a Healthcare Power of Attorney.  This legal document gives an individual the legal power to make all decisions for another under these circumstances.

Financial matters. 
At times a young adult, out on their own, may need help financially for things such as a title to a car, taxes, bank accounts, or a cell phone bill.  To help in these matters you need authority to help.  One excellent option is to have a signed Durable Financial Power of Attorney which will give you all the authority you need to assist your child in financial matters.
    Does my child need a Will? The purpose of a Will is to designate what happens to a person’s estate when they pass away.  For a young adult heading off to college this is not the greatest importance unless they already have children.  The law of interstate succession has default provisions for the distribution of property if there is no Will. A Will provides the specific instructions of who receives assets when a person passes away.  A Will can also name a guardian to oversee any minor children and provide restrictions on timing of inheritances. Even for basic accounts, beneficiary designations on accounts and insurance policies should be reviewed and designated to avoid probate when possible.

Having children leave home can be stressful time for all relatives and close friends.  Let us help you prepare your college student’s legal documents in order to eliminate the worry over legal affairs.  And, it is always good to have your own estate planning checkup.  As life events occur or any changes happen in your family, earlier plans may need an update.
We look forward to speaking with you.  Call us at (480)-832-3000 to set up an appointment.



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