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Planning For Your Loved Ones

Protecting Those Who Matter the Most

You’d do anything to ensure a safe and successful future for your loved ones. But do you have an estate plan?

A surprising number of parents don’t. Perhaps they are young couples who don’t think they’ve accumulated enough wealth, or their children are so young that planning for college doesn’t yet make sense to them. Maybe they simply don’t want to think about the possibility of dying before their children become successful and competent adults.

The reality is that an estate plan is essential for parents at all stages of life. You never know what will happen or when, but you can ensure that your children are protected. Wills and Trusts are two estate planning vehicles that help accomplish this goal.

For Your Spouse

If you lost your life and your income suddenly disappeared, will your spouse be taken care of? Will there be money to pay off the mortgage? To pay for your family’s education? In the years when your cash flow comes from wages and salaries more than from investments, you know the right thing is for you to make arrangements that take care of them financially.

Naming a Guardian for Minor Children

You can use your Will to appoint a guardian for your children if you and their other parent pass away while they are still minors. Without advance planning, the court will appoint a guardian who may not have been your first choice. In some cases, your children may even be placed with a foster family while the court decides on a suitable guardian.

It’s a good idea to name a backup guardian in your estate plan should your original choice be unable to serve if the time comes. This additional step will ensure that your children are in the hands of trusted relatives or friends and not the court system.

Setting Up Trusts for Minors

Parents of minor children should create a trust that safeguards their inheritances. You can specify how much money each child receives, the age at which they will receive it, and, to a certain extent, how the funds will be spent. Benefits of a trust include:

  • Designating money for college educations.
  • Protecting your children’s inheritances from future creditors.
  • Ensuring that certain assets stay in the family in the event that a child marries and divorces.
  • Providing for special needs children who may require ongoing care beyond their 18th birthday.

Protection for College-Age Children

The college years are exciting and rewarding ones. However, they can also be risky, which is why HIPAA Release Forms and Financial and Healthcare Powers of Attorney are essential for any adult child going off to college.

HighPoint Law Offices can provide you with access to Docubank, an online legal vault that stores critical healthcare documents. The In-Case-of-Emergency (I.C.E.) HIPAA Release Registry will issue your child an I.C.E. card that will direct medical personnel how to access their healthcare information on file with DocuBank. This means

  • The hospital will see critical information like allergies and existing medical conditions.
  • You will be notified about an emergency as soon as possible.

Other protections include:

  • A Healthcare Power of Attorney that authorizes you to make any healthcare-related decisions for your child if they are unable to do so themselves.
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  • A Special Durable Power of Attorney that authorizes you to manage your adult child’s financial affairs either immediately or in the future.

Our College Student Essentials Plan includes a HIPAA Release, Health Care Power of Attorney, Special Durable Power of Attorney, DocuBank I.C.E. (college student) Card, and Organ Donor Authorization (if desired). You will be able to breathe a little easier knowing that you can be there for them in the clutch, no matter how far away they are. 

Contact a Pennsylvania Estate Planning Lawyer Today

At HighPoint Law Offices, we know you want the best for your children, and a well-drafted estate plan can provide them with the security and opportunities they need to enjoy a fulfilled and successful future. To meet with Attorney Peter Gilbert and his team, please contact us here.