Estate Planning and College Bound Kids
Many people think that only older individuals or people with children or significant assets need to develop an estate plan, and most would not consider encouraging their college-age children to develop an estate plan. It is prudent for college-bound kids to engage in estate planning for multiple reasons, however, and if they do not, it could lead to unfortunate consequences in the future. If you want to learn more about estate planning and college-bound kids, it is smart to speak to an experienced estate planning attorney as soon as possible.
Estate Planning and College-bound Kids
• Protecting Assets and Estates
Younger adults, like those going to college, typically think that engaging in estate planning is premature, as they have not yet embarked on their career or earned a substantial income. They probably have greater assets than they are aware of, though, and in most cases, it would benefit them to execute a will. Such assets often include cars, jewelry, and money in bank and college savings accounts. They often own items that have significant sentimental value as well.
By drafting a will, they can ensure that anything they own will be disbursed in compliance with their wishes. They can also designate financial power of attorney rights to their parents or another individual so that the person can make financial decisions on their behalf in the event they become ill or incapacitated. In some instances, some other estate planning tools, like trusts, may be appropriate as well.
• Planning for Unexpected Issues
Most young adults attending college are away from their parents for the first time. Unfortunately, this often means that they do not always place a priority on their health. It is not surprising, then, that college students commonly develop illnesses or conditions that require medical care.
While parents determine what care their minor children need and help them seek such treatment, when children go off to college, their parents often cannot assist them with their immediate medical needs if they live in another city or state. Further, once children turn 18, their parents no longer have the legal right to access their health information or medical records or make decisions on their behalf.
It is prudent, therefore, for college-bound kids to consider designating their parents or another trusted individual as their healthcare proxy. A healthcare proxy has the right to obtain information regarding the principal’s medical care and to make medical decisions on their behalf in the event they are unable to do so. This is important in situations where college students become critically ill or suffer injuries that render them unable to advocate for themselves.
Talk to a Skillful Estate Planning Lawyer About Your Options
People may not think that estate planning is necessary for college-bound kids, but in most cases, it is beneficial for them to begin developing a comprehensive plan. If your child is about to go off to college, it is wise to talk to a skillful estate planning lawyer about what tools you can use to help your child protect their interests. Call Gregorek & Associates at 425-284-3450 or fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.