Good advice from NBC News explaining why even young adults should have a basic estate plan:

This kind of planning can even be important for kids going off to college, says Melissa Langa, partner at Bove & Langa P.C. law firm in Boston.

“My clients are usually surprised when I say, ‘You know, if something happens to your child while they are in school, you don’t have any right to their medical records. They’re adults. No one can see their records, and if they are unconscious or something like that, you don’t have authorization,'” she says.

Legally, the parents wouldn’t be able to even participate in health care decisions without a signed directive naming them as agents authorized to act on behalf of their child while he’s incapacitated and unable to speak for himself. Also of vital importance: a signed form giving the health care agent access to medical records. That’s known as HIPAA authorization, for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It protects patient privacy by limiting who can look at your medical records. A simple form designating the people to whom medical records can be released easily skirts that issue.