3 Essential Estate Planning Documents for Your College Student
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3 Essential Estate Planning Documents for College Students

You might not feel like your child is an adult when he or she takes off for college, but when they reach age eighteen, your student is deemed a legal adult. Meaning, unless you finish some estate planning steps, you are going to no longer have the legal authority to stay informed about his or her financial assets or medical history.
Why is this important? Consider the following situation.

Your eighteen -year-old son, attending an out-of-state school, gets in a car accident. His roommate calls you to let you know he’s in the hospital. You hysterically call the hospital, asking for an update on his medical condition. Rather than calming you, notifying you that he only has minor injuries, the hospital tells you they regrettably cannot release any confidential medical information. You inquire if you can make the drive to visit him and are told you are going to be turned away when you get to the hospital.

You also discover that if your son becomes incapacitated for a period, you won’t have access to his financial accounts for paying any of his living expenses, like electric bills or his rent.

Without specific legal documents set up, you are going to likely need to petition the court for the right to handle your son’s medical care and manage his financial matters. These circumstances only add to the frustration and anxiety of an already stressful situation.

Luckily, an estate planning attorney can assist you in drafting several documents that can prevent you from undergoing such a situation. Three vital documents are below:

  • HIPAA waiver – In accordance with the conditions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, health care professionals and hospitals cannot legally divulge a person’s medical details to others without the consent of the patient. When signing a HIPAA waiver, your child can guarantee you are going to have accessibility to his or her medical details should an emergency occur.
  • Advanced medical directive – This document serves as a healthcare power of attorney, enabling you to make medical decisions for your child should he or she become incapacitated. It also usually includes a living will, which details how your child would like you to manage end-of-life decisions.
  • Financial power of attorney – A financial power of attorney (POA) enables your child to name you as an agent to oversee his or her financial assets. With it in place, you are going to be able to oversee your child’s finances, including paying bills and filing taxes for them.

In addition to the three essential documents mentioned above, you may also want to consider implementing the below:

  • Financial Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) release – This enables you to have accessibility to your child’s educational history, like transcripts, lecture hall schedules, etc.
  • Last will and testament – Whereas college students usually have few assets (no house or vehicle in their name, etc.), they may want to name who would receive important items, like jewelry, memorabilia, or pets, should they pass away. It makes sense to implement a will at the same time as the above documents, so your family is better equipped after your child graduates college.

Whereas these are difficult matters to consider, it’s always best to be prepared for the unforeseen. The knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at Ogborne Law can help you implement the necessary legal documents to guarantee your child is safeguarded. Schedule a call to learn more.


  1. Dominguez, S. (2023, October 2). 3 Essential Estate Planning Documents for college students. Creative Planning. https://creativeplanning.com/insights/estate-planning/estate-planning-students/

Speak With Our Estate Planning Attorneys In Phoenix, Arizona Today

Estate planning is the right thing to do for the people you love. It’s another way to say “thank you” to those who love you. Some of the decisions are hard, but at Ogborne Law, we will help you navigate these difficult decisions.

Your Arizona estate planning attorney can help you select a will or trust or both. Your estate solution will work for you. You will have the peace of mind that comes with effective planning for the future. Call 602.343.1435 or contact Ogborne Law with questions.

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