Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • September 2017
Written by 

Now is the time to revisit legal and life insurance needs

If you are the parent of a college-bound student, you may soon face a whole new world of an empty nest, financial aid and questions about doing laundry. What you might not realize, though, is that with this new transition, there are some important considerations you need to keep top of mind, specifically life insurance and the updating of legal documents.

Below are some important tips (besides never mix your whites and darks) as your kids leave the nest. 

Life insurance needs

Although it may not be top of mind during this exciting time, it is important to make sure you have the right level of life insurance coverage. 

  • No one wants to think about the unthinkable, but you might want to increase your own life insurance coverage or obtain coverage on your student if:
  • Your current coverage would not be sufficient to pay off student loan debt and meet the surviving spouse’s other financial needs, too. 
  • You take out a Parent PLUS or home equity loan. 
  • You co-sign with your child on a student loan. 

Legal document needs

Strange as it may sound, if a college student age 18 or older is hospitalized while at school and is unable to communicate, the parents might not automatically have the right to tell doctors and hospital staff what medical procedures to use or not use. Also, if the adult student is not able to communicate for an extended time, parents might not be authorized to move funds from the student’s accounts. As legal adults, students over the age of 18 need their own advance medical directives, health care agent form and durable power of attorney for financial management, naming those who could legally act on their behalf. Below are some key terms and ideas to discuss with an attorney to ensure you’re prepared in the event that your child is incapacitated. 

Important definitions

  • Advance medical directive – Allows you to plan your health care before you may be unable to make sound decisions yourself.
  • Health care agent form – Allows you to appoint another person to make your health care decisions for you if you are unable to communicate them yourself.
  • Durable power of attorney for financial management – Gives someone the right to make financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.

Leaving for school opens up a whole new world for both children and their families. By taking a few minutes to review your financial and legal situation now, you will be prepared for this new stage of your life. 

On Tuesday, September 26, Dan Bellerud of Thrivent Financial will present a college planning workshop. This free 90-minute college planning workshop will help attendees learn how academics, admissions and financial strategies can work together to help save money on college — without jeopardizing the financial and retirement strategies of parents. The workshop will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. at Liberty Hall, located at 800 Eisenhower Drive in Kimberly. To reserve a spot, call Stacie at 920-628-3700 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stacie Patchett

To contact Stacie Patchett, call 920-628-3700 or email her at [email protected].

This column was prepared by Thrivent Financial with an article from Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions Inc. ©2012 for local distribution by Thrivent Financial Representative Stacie Patchett. She has her office at 4321 N Ballard Rd in Appleton and can also be reached at 920-628-3700.

About Thrivent Financial 

Thrivent Financial is a financial services organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. As a membership organization, it offers its more than 2 million member-owners a broad range of products, services and guidance from financial representatives nationwide. For more than a century it has helped members make wise money choices that reflect their values while providing them opportunities to demonstrate their generosity where they live, work and worship. For more information, visit Thrivent.com. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Insurance products issued or offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Not all products are available in all states. Securities and investment advisory services are offered through Thrivent Investment Management Inc., 625 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415, a FINRA and SIPC member and a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent. Thrivent Financial representatives are registered representatives of Thrivent Investment Management Inc. They are also licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent. For additional important information, visit Thrivent.com/disclosures.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and its respective associates and employees cannot provide legal, accounting, or tax advice or services. Work with your Thrivent Financial representative, and as appropriate your attorney and/or tax professional for additional information.

Website: Thrivent.com
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