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estate planning college age children

Yes, Your College-Age Child Needs an Estate Plan

Even though college students typically don’t have many assets, it’s still critical for them to consider having a basic estate plan in the event the unexpected happens.  Consider meeting with an estate planning attorney to discuss putting in place at least these four documents if an unforeseen incident occurs while your child is away at school:

1. Will. Although your child is still in his or her upper teens or early twenties, he or she isn’t too young to have a will drawn up. The will specifies the disposition of his or her assets and can tie up other loose ends of the estate.

2. Health Care Directive. With a health care directive, your child appoints someone to act as his or her proxy or surrogate for health care decisions. Typically, you or your spouse are designated as the attorney-in-fact for this purpose.

3. HIPAA authorization. To accompany the health care directive, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization gives health care providers the ability to share information about your child’s medical condition with you and your spouse. Absent a HIPAA authorization, making health care decisions for your child can be significantly more difficult.

4. Financial Durable Power of Attorney. This legal document enables you and your spouse to conduct financial activities on your child’s behalf. A “durable” power of attorney, which is the most common form, continues in the event that your child becomes incapacitated.

If you and your child are ready to create a basic estate plan, please don’t hesitate to contact us at or 651-631-0616. We’d be pleased to help give your family the peace of mind that comes with having an estate plan.

Virginia Ryan provides trust, will, probate, and business law services to clients in Maplewood Minnesota, and the surrounding areas of North Oaks, White Bear Lake, Lake Elmo, Grant, Mahtomedi, Dellwood, Woodbury, Oakdale, Roseville, Little Canada, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, St. Paul, Hugo, Lino Lakes, Stillwater.