If you are a parent with a college-age child, you likely have many concerns. One often overlooked thing is estate planning. Even though some people think estate planning documents are only necessary for the elderly or wealthy individuals, in reality, these documents are helpful for people who are no longer able to care for themselves. While young adults are often focused on making the most out of their lives, it is an unfortunate truth that each year numerous young people end up incapacitated or killed as a result of emergencies. The best way to avoid undesirable consequences in these situations is to make sure that you have adequate estate planning tools in place. This article reviews just some of the critical estate planning documents that college-age students should consider creating. 

Why Healthcare Planning is Important for College Students

Many college students are at least 18 years old, which means that they are viewed in the eyes of the law as adults who are capable of making their own healthcare decisions. As a result of the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), parents are at risk of being found without any decision-making abilities if something happens to the child and the parent becomes injured. This is because HIPAA applies even with a college student’s parents and even if the student is still listed on the parents’ medical insurance. To avoid being locked out of learning about a child’s health or decision-making abilities in case of an emergency, it is important to be mindful of either HIPAA or estate planning documents like financial powers of attorney.

The remarriage rate has decreased over time for all individuals except those individuals who are 55 and older. For people who remarry but who also want to make sure that children from a first or previous marriage receive certain assets, it is vital to engage in estate planning as well as to exercise caution. 

Otherwise, there is a risk that you might end up accidentally disinheriting your children. As a result, it is a good idea to follow some important estate planning to make sure that your children are not accidentally disinherited during the estate planning process.

# 1 – Engage in an Estate Planning Conversation

Many people understand the value of having an estate plan. They also understand that not writing these documents can place their loved ones in a much more difficult situation. For some reason, however, these people hesitate to write an estate plan. For one reason, most people do not like to accept that they too will one day pass away. 

If you die without an estate plan or “intestate”, your estate will be distributed by New York’s probate laws, which follow a predetermined order of how assets should be divided. To encourage you to write your estate plan, this article reviews some important steps that will encourage you to write your estate plan.

# 1 – Realize Who Benefits from Estate Planning

It’s difficult to accept, but accidents occur every day. In addition to preparing for accidents, it is also a good idea to anticipate events like entering a nursing home. Because an event of this nature is almost a certainty, it is a good idea to take some important estate planning tips to prepare for what lies ahead. 

As a result, this article reviews some important strategies that you should remember to implement to make sure that your loved ones have an easier time navigating matters when the unexpected happens.

# 1 – Plan Now, Not Later

There are several reasons why people hesitate to or refuse to plan for death or incapacity. Failure to create an estate plan, however, can result in a person facing several complications which includes increased fines and placing additional stress on your loved one. 

As a result, this article reviews some of the important pieces of estate planning errors you should make sure to avoid.

# 1 – Failure to Create an Estate Plan

The federal estate tax exclusion was recently raised to $11.4, but there are cases where large estates or businesses are transferred to beneficiaries and the recipients are subject to estate taxes. In some situations, the only way for your loved ones to pay for the taxes that accompany these assets is to sell the very assets that you hoped to pass on. 

Several  estate planning strategies that can be utilized to avoid the risk that your loved ones will end up paying estate taxes. One of the best methods to avoid these estate taxes is to use an irrevocable life insurance trust.

How Life Insurance Trusts Work

Before recently, the terms used by each individual website influence who has ownership and access to digital assets following a loved one’s death. These regulations greatly increased the number of regulations that loved ones must follow after your death. In many cases, these complex laws ended up having the result of beneficiaries losing digital assets that belong to the deceased family member. 

Understanding RUFADA 

Passed in 2015, the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADA) governed a person’s access to online accounts when the account owner passes away or loses the ability to manage their digital accounts.

While trusts grow in their popularity and usage, some people still encounter difficulties in creating a trust. One problem that some clients face is banks and financial institutions who create challenges in funding a trust. 

While this problem is not all that common, it is still helpful to understand why these challenges can arise. This article also reviews some of the benefits that people commonly realize through the creation of a trust.

Common Challenges involved with Trust Funding

In the United States, married individuals almost always receive assets from their spouses without paying estate tax. One exception is the often-overlooked law involving marriage between a citizen of the United States and a foreign national. If you find yourself in this situation, it can create a unique challenge during estate planning.

The Foreign National Exception

Under federal law, if an American citizen is married to a foreign national and the first to die in the couple, the surviving foreign national is prohibited from using the standard marital deduction to inherit property. If the couple lives in the United States, the entire asset is subject to this regulation. If the couple lives overseas, however, only US-based assets are impacted by this law. 

A California Superior Court in the case of In Estate of Holdaway recently ruled in favor of a creditor who was attempting to collecting on a deceased person’s estate. Following the individual’s death in 2013, a creditor in 2014 filed a petition for probate and seeking compensation for $90,875 on a debt. This claim was based on four loans the creditor made to the deceased individual and in-home services provided to the deceased individuals. In 2015, a trial court issued an order showing why the creditor’s petition should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. 

Later in 2015, the trial court ordered that the case should be dismissed without prejudice. In 2016, the deceased individual’s son filed a competing petition for probate, which stated that the deceased individual had left all of his assets to a family trust. The trial court later granted this competing petition. After this, in 2017, the son rejected the creditor’s claim against the estate, which led the creditor to challenge this denial. 

In arriving at its decision, the Court of Appeal stated that the trial court does not have a power authorizing it to extinguish the claim of a creditor in such a way based on the mere stipulation that others are interested in the estate. As a result, the appellate court reversed matters and remanded the case to the trial court.

Contact Information