Back to school marks a bittersweet moment for every parent. The slow summer days are over, and the early morning regimen begins anew. In a blink, the kids are somehow a “year older.” The first day of school requires so much thoughtful planning that it’s both eagerly anticipated and agonizingly dreaded. In the weeks leading up to the big day, there’s shopping for new clothes, checking off school supply lists, getting routine physical exams and vaccines, and filling out school forms. Might we suggest that while you’re in the throes of planning, you add estate planning to your list? Without a doubt, a new wave of COVID coupled with back-to-school has people thinking about the passage of time. Let’s use it as a time not to fear, but rather, to prepare. The key to successful estate planning? Do it before you need to.
Back-to-school planning isn’t just for families with elementary and high school students. If your baby has fled the coop and is heading off to college, you no longer can make medical decisions for your newly minted “adult” child. Once a child turns 18, a parent’s legal right to their child’s medical, academic, and financial records ends. To navigate this new set of circumstances, it’s important to meet with your estate planning attorney and for your child to consider documents such as a living will, a power of attorney, and a HIPAA release. If legal planning doesn’t take place and an emergency arises, you, as a parent, may not be allowed to communicate with doctors on your child’s behalf, for example. Amidst a global pandemic, the importance of planning during this unique time in your child’s life is significant.
So, whether your kiddos are just starting out on their academic journey, or you’ve become an empty nester, taking care of your estate planning before settling into a new academic routine can lift stress from the whole family. As the kids get ready to start their first homework assignment of the new school year, make sure you’re taking care of your homework, too. Connect with us to get started!
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