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Living wills, durable powers of attorney can be helpful

Parents in New York naturally want to stay involved in their children's lives when their children have gone off to college. However, parents legally do not have the right to deal with their children's affairs if their children are 18 years old or older. A few tips may help parents to ensure that they can continue to make decisions for their children in the area of medical treatment and finances when their children are away at school, including preparing durable powers of attorney and living wills.

First, children can create durable powers of attorney in which they designate their parents as their financial agents. In this way, their parents can still write checks on their personal bank accounts should the children become incapacitated in college and therefore unable to do this on their own. Parents may also find it easier to monitor their children's debit and credit card purchases when durable powers of attorney are in place.

A living will is also important from a medical standpoint. This document outlines the scenarios in which a college student would want any life-support measures to be stopped if he or she were to be beyond the hope of recovery. A living will makes it a bit easier for the parents of the child in this situation to cope with the ordeal.

Living wills and durable powers of attorney are essential elements of estate plans in New York. Other important estate planning documents include wills and trusts. An applied understanding of the law may help people to protect their best interests as well as those of their family members through the creation of well-thought-out estate plans.

Source: yahoo.com, "Does a College Student Need an Estate Plan?", Sept. 6, 2016

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