Recently, I was walking through our local Target, and I realized that in a few short weeks the store will be full of back-to-school supplies! Where did the time go? While most of the focus is on K-12 kids going back to school, you should keep some important things in mind when your child heads off to college, as well.
Ten years ago, I had a client with an out-of-state college student. Unfortunately, the child got into a car accident, and his college roommate called to tell the parents that their son was going into surgery. However, when the parents called the hospital, they couldn’t get any information. They were simply told that their son was an adult, and the hospital would need his express permission to release any health care information. The parents panicked and embarked on a seven-hour car ride, scared of what they might find when they arrived. Luckily, the surgery was relatively minor, and their son was fine.
If the parents had obtained a legal document allowing the hospital to release medical information about their child prior to the accident, they could have received timely information. This issue is especially worrisome in this COVID world we are currently living in. For this reason, we highly recommend your adult children sign an advanced directive before they go to school. In fact, we recommend this measure for any adult children for whom you would like access to their medical records. The advanced directive is a relatively simple form that requires your adult child’s signature as well as a few witnesses. Every state has their own version. Here is a link to the Georgia document that you can download
As your kids head off to college, remember what you can use the college 529 plan for:
- Required tuition, fees, books, and supplies
- Room and board expenses, which include meal plans purchased through the school
- Computers, software, and peripheral equipment
- Off-campus rent, utilities, and food, as long as those expenses don’t exceed the cost of living in school-provided housing (dorms) and meal plans.
Please note: Travel expenses to and from college are NOT eligible for reimbursement.
Many students came home in March and April before the semester was over and were refunded for dorm/meal plans. If that money originally came from a 529 plan, it has to be put back into the 529 plan to avoid taxes. The deadline for recontributing the funds is within 60 days of the refund. However, another strategy is to simply look for expenses noted above that could be covered by the 529.
To say the least, these are interesting times we live in. Please stay safe and healthy, and we wish your child a successful school year!
As always, your Bluerock team is delighted to answer any questions you may have.
Bluerock Wealth Management., LLC is an SEC registered investment adviser located in Alpharetta, Georgia. For additional information about Bluerock, you can access a copy of our Form ADV Disclosure Brochure, on www.Bluerockwealth.com. The Disclosure Brochure will provide you with a full description of the firm’s business operations and services. The material above is being provided for informational purposes only; the material does not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Bluerock Wealth Management for any of the products, services or opinions of the organization. It does not substitute for personalized investment or financial planning from Bluerock. This article conveys the views and opinions of its author, and the information herein should not be considered a solicitation to engage in a particular investment or financial planning strategy.