Back to School Estate Plan During COVID-19

Back to School Estate Plan During COVID-19

If you work in a school, have a student, or an adult student; I urge you to seriously consider getting your estate plan together. Since I’ve worked in the public school system as a teacher; I know they are some of the germiest places on earth. To keep healthy while I was teaching, I used at least a half a dozen different ways to “high five” students without ever touching them. Kids get germs from school. They’re going back to school this week or in the next several weeks. Here’s a few estate planning suggestions in case you become ill and things take a turn for the worse. It’s best to put your family in a position where they can help in making decisions, which will have significant consequences for everyone.

Powers of Attorney and Living Wills are essential documents for those who come in contact with schools.

For Your Adult Child

A HIPAA Release allows health-care providers to release and share medical information with parents. Without one, doctors may refuse to discuss the adult child’s condition with anyone. Only unless they conclude it’s in the child’s best interest. HIPAA authorizations aren’t required to be notarized. If your child is going off to college, check in with the campus medical center. Find out if there are any additional forms you need to sign.

Taking it to the next level. A Medical Power of Attorney allows an adult child to appoint an agent on their behalf. It is standard in Colorado to have a the HIPAA release as part of the medical power of attorney. Also, Colorado doesn’t require witnesses or notarization for a medical power of attorney to be valid. If your child is going to college out-of-state, check what the requirements are in the state the school is located.

For You

If you become incapacitated because of COVID, a Financial Power of Attorney will allow your someone you choose, to make financial decisions on your behalf. This person is your agent. In Colorado, a financial powers of attorney must be notarized.

Likewise, a Medical Power of Attorney allows your agent to make medical decisions on your behalf. The agents under your financial and medical power of attorney do not need to be the same individual but they can be. In Colorado, this medical powers of attorney don’t need to be notarized or witnessed.

Lastly, a Living Will, or Advanced Medical Directive, spells out medical treatments you refuse or want to be used to keep you alive if your condition is terminal or your in a persistent vegetative state. Also, it conveys your preferences for other medical decisions such as pain management or organ donation. In Colorado a Living Will must be witnessed to be valid. A notary is not needed.

If you’re sending a kid to school, or if you work in a school the time is NOW for getting these documents together.

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