By Matthew Gaude & Shawn McGuire
When estate planning comes to mind, you probably don’t think of drafting documents for your young adult children. But if 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that times have changed and we need to shift our thinking to keep up.
Here’s why: College campuses have become hotbeds for the spread of COVID-19, (1) despite precautions college administrators have tried to implement. So much so that experts have recommended that colleges not send sick or exposed students home to avoid further spread to students’ hometowns. (2)
But even though young people are not in the highest risk category for developing severe symptoms of COVID-19, (3) parents should be prepared for their child to come in contact with the disease and get their ducks in a row appropriately. Here’s how to do that with just two documents.
Get A Healthcare Directive In Place
If your child is so sick that they cannot make medical decisions for themselves, don’t you want to be the one making the decisions for them? That’s what a healthcare directive dictates. States have different laws regarding who can make medical decisions on your behalf, and it doesn’t always default to the parent. If your child is attending school out of state, this can get even more muddled.
A healthcare directive or healthcare power of attorney (POA) not only clearly lays out who is authorized to make medical decisions for your child, but also gives the POA access to medical records, and is the person doctors or other medical professionals will communicate with. Since most college students are over 18, parents need to have legal documents outlining their role in their children’s medical decisions if the unthinkable happens.
Implement A Durable POA
Along with making medical decisions for your child if they are incapacitated, parents should consider drafting a durable power of attorney for their child’s financial matters. Just like the healthcare directive, this document is also state-specific. Regardless of whether your college-aged student has plenty or little to their name, a financial durable POA allows parents to deal with everything from assets to student loans and tuition bills, including managing bank accounts and breaking leases.
Cover Your Bases
Pandemic or no pandemic, your college student should have these documents in place to avoid unnecessary medical or legal issues in a time of great stress and worry. Talk to your children about the importance of taking this step and reach out to us at Live Oak Wealth Management with any questions about how to protect your children and their finances. Call our office at 770-552-5968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if you prefer, you can simply click here to schedule an appointment online.
Matthew Gaude is an *investment advisor representative and the co-founder of Live Oak Wealth Management, a financial services firm in Roswell, Georgia. He serves the planning and investment needs of corporate employees, those approaching or in retirement, and 401(k) plan sponsors. Working first as a commodity broker and then as a Business Development Manager for a national broker-dealer in previous jobs, he has the insight and experience to help clients understand the complexities of the market and implement strategies to minimize risk. To learn more about Matthew, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.liveoakwm.com.
Shawn McGuire is a financial advisor and the co-founder of Live Oak Wealth Management, a financial services firm in Roswell, Georgia. He serves the planning and investment needs of corporate employees, those approaching or in retirement, and 401(k) plan sponsors. He has worked in financial services since 2002 in positions ranging from financial advisor to stock broker and portfolio manager. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, he is trained to help clients with virtually all their financial needs. To learn more about Shawn, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.liveoakwm.com.
Securities offered through American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through *American Portfolio Advisors, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Live Oak Wealth Management, LLC is independently owned and not affiliated with APFS or APA.
Any opinions expressed in this forum are not the opinion or view of American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) or American Portfolios Advisors, Inc. (APA) and have not been reviewed by the firm for completeness or accuracy. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Any comments or postings are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer or a recommendation to buy or sell securities or other financial instruments. Readers should conduct their own review and exercise judgment prior to investing. Investments are not guaranteed, involve risk, and may result in a loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investments are not suitable for all types of investors. Seek tax advice from a tax professional.