Back To School Estate Planning Tips For Parents

  • Estate Planning
Back To School Estate Planning Tips For Parents

What does back to school have to do with estate planning? A LOT! If you’re a parent, when school goes back in session after the summer break there are some things you need to do to make sure your children are protected. Here are some considerations for parents now that school is right around the corner.

Parents Who Travel for Work

Does your job require occasional or regular overnight business travel? What happens if you are unexpectedly delayed, and your child requires medical attention or other parental decisions? A Limited Power of Attorney (also called a Specific or Special Power of Attorney) allows the person who has the POA to make decisions for you, based on the specifications you out on the POA:

• Timeframe
• Scope
• Documents

If something happens to you or your spouse, who do you want to raise your children? If you do not designate a guardian, the courts will determine who can make the legal and physical custody and decision-making decisions about your children. You can designate a guardian for your children after your death in a will, but if you become temporarily ill, your will does not apply. An Illinois Short Term Guardianship can protect your family if you are temporarily unable to care for your child.

Parents of Children With Special Needs

It’s critical that parents do not accidentally jeopardize their children’s eligibility for government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid and other public assistance benefits. A Special Needs Trust provides funds but also allows disabled individuals to qualify for Medicaid but still have some funds for personal use

Parents of College Students

Your 18-year-old child who is heading off to college is legally considered an adult in Illinois and capable of making his or her own medical, financial and legal decisions. There are 2 important legal documents to protect college-bound students:

1. Durable Power of Attorney
durable power of attorney lasts indefinitely. In most cases, a durable power of attorney (DPOA) is used to allow the designated person – such as a parent – to handle affairs in a specific area of a person’s life, such as in financial or health matters if you become incapacitated.

2. Healthcare Directive
If you become incapacitated, who do you trust to make your health care decisions? If you don’t appoint a health care proxy, the courts will assign someone to make your medical decisions – and it may not be a person your trust. A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a durable power of attorney, a legal device that allows one person to indefinitely make decisions on behalf of another.

Parents plan for the future of their families and protect their children from unpleasant realities. Legal estate planning documents can protect your children’s interests and security in case the unexpected happens. An experienced estate planning attorney can advise you on how to create legal documents that will protect your child today and in the future.

DuPage County Estate Planning Attorney

Protecting your family and providing peace of mind for your family members can be achieved with expert guidance from the estate planning attorneys at  Estate & Probate Legal Group in Illinois today at 630-864-5835.