Congratulations! Your child has recently graduated high school or college and is ready to start moving out on their own! While this stage of life certainly comes with many mixed emotions, most parents are proud to see their children entering adulthood and “leaving the nest.” You’ll certainly have some extra free time (and quite possibly, extra free money) in the years to come! Time and money aside, you still want to help make the transition for your children as easy as possible. You may also find yourself “sandwiched” between caring for your children and caring for your aging parents. Now is a good time to make sure your estate plan and other documents are reviewed and properly updated.
Update Your Will
Now that your child is an adult and gaining independence, you probably need to update your Will. Eliminating guardian provisions, removing some restrictions on any inheritance they will receive, and other changes are now very important. If you still have some younger children in the house, you may also want to consider naming your oldest child as an emergency guardian should something happen to you.
Checking Medical Coverage
Make sure that your adult children are still covered under your health insurance policy. The law allows this to continue until your child is 26, which can really help them with this transition. Make sure to review the laws and your policy to provide them with the best coverage at the best prices possible.
Health Care Directives and HIPAA Forms
It may be time now to consider naming your adult children as medical decision-makers for you in the event of your incapacity. At the very least, naming your children in a HIPAA authorization form will make it much easier for your kids to step in and get medical information should it be needed. Getting Health Care Directives and HIPAA forms set up for your aging parents is also a great idea.
Power of Attorney
If you are caring for your aging parents, you know the importance of a Power of Attorney. Setting up a PoA for yourself can help ensure you and your children are legally prepared should they ever need to step in and make key legal and financial decisions on your behalf. If your aging parents don’t yet have a PoA in place, this can also be a good time to set one up for them.
Making Smart Gifts
It is quite common for parents to give their graduating children a financial gift as a way to help them start their independent life. Depending on the size and type of this gift, you may need to consider potential tax ramifications of the gift. Using a legal trust may provide significant benefits and protection to everyone involved.
Talk to an Attorney
Whether you are looking to update your estate plan to reflect changes brought about by growing children, aging parents, or your own personal lives, you need to have an attorney who can help. Our team will discuss your specific situation, and work with you to create custom solutions. Please contact us to schedule a consultation today.