Serving Washington State
   (253) 838-3454

Send us a Message

Serving Washington State  (253)838-3454

Send us a Message

Does your college-bound child need an estate plan?

Most people wouldn’t necessarily think of their 18 year old child as an adult but in the eyes of the law, with few exceptions, he or she is. A handful of states require graduation from high school or reaching 19 years of age.  Mississippi doesn’t consider someone fully adult until they reach 21.  But everywhere else, including in Washington state an 18 year old is considered an adult.  Let’s think about that for a moment.  That means an 18 year old can sue or be sued, agree to a surgery, sign a contract and a whole host of other things that indicates having reached adulthood.   It also means that if your college-aged adult child is in an accident, you are no longer entitled to make medical decisions.  In fact, because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), you may not even be able to ascertain even basic information about their medical condition.  This goes as well for financial information even if you are still supporting them.

Regardless of how much support you are still providing, the law protects all adults from invasion of privacy and gives them the right to govern their own lives.  This leaves them with some major amounts of responsibilities requiring them to give someone the authority to make medical and financial decisions for them in the event that they are unable to do so.  This is why college students (or any other adult child) should consider some basic estate planning.

Most people think of estate planning and automatically jump to wills.  Most college students won’t need wills but they will need some of the other documents that make up an estate plan.  Here are some of the documents he or she may need:

  • Financial Power of Attorney-If your student decides to study abroad or even in another state, someone may have to take financial actions in his or her name.  Even in this age of cell phones and internet access not every corner of the world is covered with reliable access to our important accounts.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney-A serious illness or accident can quickly take away the ability to make decisions about any end-of-life or care decisions.  This document will allow someone else to make those decisions should your child be unable to do so.
  • HIPAA Release-In Washington state, parents never have the right to view and amend the medical records of their adult, married or emancipated children, except in the event of death.  The HIPAA release form gives parents or other proxy the right to talk to doctors and get information about the health of their adult child.  Without it, parents may not even be able to get information about whether their children have been admitted to health care facilities or what happened to their children.
  • Living Will-This document states the preferences for care in case an individual becomes permanently unconscious or contracts a terminal illness.

Nearly everyone should have the bare bones of an estate plan in place in case of the rare but not unknown occurrence of a serious medical emergency.  Without these documents, parents cannot take care of emergencies should they arise and in the case of the medical documents they would potentially need to apply for guardianship, a time consuming and potentially costly process.


A Washington Resident's Guide to Medicaid Long-Term Care Benefits

Learn the basic rules of Medicaid Long-Term Care in Washington from an expert who has helped thousands of people qualify for these life-saving benefits. Written by elder law attorney Aaron Paker, this easy-to-read book explains the rules in language everyone can understand. If you want straight talk about what benefits are available to pay for long-term care for an elderly loved one, this book is a must-read.

Information about person you are referring

Thank you for thinking of referring a friend or family member to us. The highest accolade you can give us is that of this referral. Rest assured, we will work hard to ensure that your trust in us is well placed.

Refer a Friend

Your information:

Person you are referring:

Penny for Your Thoughts

Send us a message


Congratulations! You are about to begin the process of completing estate planning documents – for free.

Before you get started, you should know that though this service is being provided by Life Point Law, an estate planning firm, by using the free service you will not be creating an attorney-client relationship, and no attorney will review your work. Estate planning can be complicated and generally requires some degree of legal analysis to ensure you have the right provisions. Especially if you have been married more than once, you have a blended family, or you have considerable wealth. We encourage you to seek some guidance, or at the very least, have a legal professional review your work before you call it completed.

Help is available. If you’re interested in getting a second opinion on the legal documents you have created, Life Point Law offers a Peace of Mind review that can put your mind at ease knowing you have dotted all your I’s and crossed all your T’s. Let our skilled attorneys review the legal documents you have created to make sure they meet your goals.

You may also want to drop by our offices to get your documents executed (witnessed and notarized) so they are in full force and effect when they need to be used.

You will receive an email soon with information about how to schedule your Peace of Mind Consultation.

By clicking ‘Start Working on Your Free Estate Plan’ below, you will acknowledge your understanding that no attorney-client relationship exists between Life Point Law and yourself.