Estate Planning for College Age Children In The Time Of COVID

It’s never a comfortable time to discuss estate planning for ourselves, but talking about estate planning for one’s child can be a really difficult thing to do.  But we are now faced with a new reality that makes it very important to get certain estate documents in place for college-bound kids.  With students potentially being in an environment that is not very protective from COVID-19, and with the knowledge that young people tend to spread the virus more easily, those young adult children need some system in place in case they are hospitalized while away at school.

Some attorneys are speaking out that they are inundated with requests for durable powers of attorney (DPOA) and health care directives for clients’ children who have gone off to college, if they are at a school that is teaching in person.  And what can make this a little more difficult is that when a child is off at a school in another state where there is a very state-specific structure to those documents. 

Documents that should be considered are a DPOA for health care to make medical decisions, and a health care directive that states what the student’s desires are in the instance where they are terminal, and a durable power for financial decisions – to have someone to take care of tuition payments, rent payments, and student loans in the event of illness or death.

Your Relationship Manager at Washington Trust can direct you to an attorney for assistance if you don’t have one currently familiar with your estate planning. Again, not a great dinnertime discussion, but unfortunately in these times one that is necessary.

The views or opinions in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Washington Trust Bank or senior management. Washington Trust Bank believes that the information used in this blog was obtained from reliable sources, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Neither the information nor any opinions expressed constitutes a solicitation for business or a recommendation of the purchase or sale of securities or commodities.  

About The Author

As Vice President and Senior Wealth Advisor, Greg provides financial analysis to high net worth individuals. He is the author of several articles for various publications and nonprofit organizations on estate and financial planning subjects.