Estate planning is probably the last thing on your mind as your child settles into college. However, what many parents do not consider is that once a child turns 18, he or she is legally recognized as an adult in most states.

As your child begins college, a gap year program, or study abroad, there are three important documents he or she should have in place that will allow you to help in the event of an emergency or other circumstances. Those documents are a HIPPA release; durable power of attorney for healthcare; and durable power of attorney for property.