Your Child May Be an Adult, But They Still Need You

For many people, estate planning may seem like a daunting task, or something that’s reserved for older, more established people. However, everyone could benefit from an estate plan and should have one in place. This is especially true for young adults like college students. Students are just starting out on their adult lives, and usually don’t have a lot of assets, but there is more to life than just assets. It’s important to guide your adult children regarding their healthcare wishes, financial management, and any other important matter that impacts their life long-term. There are many estate planning tools that even a young student can benefit from.

Power of Attorney

One of the most important estate planning tools for anyone is a power of attorney, but it’s especially important for young adults and college students. It’s a legal document that allows someone to act on your best interests if you become incapacitated in some way. There are several types of powers of attorney, but there are two that can be especially helpful. A durable power of attorney for healthcare (also sometimes called a “healthcare proxy”) names an “attorney-in-fact” or “health care agent” who can make healthcare decisions for you in your time of need. For example, if you’re in an accident and are unconscious, your healthcare proxy can discuss your medical care with your providers and make decisions based on the instructions outlined in your estate plan or on your personal values. 

The other power of attorney document that can be especially helpful to students is the durable power of attorney for finances gives someone the power to manage your finances when you’re unable to do so. This document gives the attorney-in-fact as little or as much power as you see fit. If you would like someone to pay your bills and manage your bank account closely, this can be outlined in the documents. 

Beneficiary Designations

Although young adults and college students often consider themselves to have very few assets, the reality is that if anything were to happen to them, their belongings still need to be accounted for. There is no object too small for which to make beneficiary designations. It can include music collections, pets, or larger assets like real property or vehicles. It’s important to review beneficiary designations regularly and make sure that they’re updated as necessary to ensure that your assets go to the individuals or charities as intended. 

Online Accounts

Digital assets are often one of the most overlooked of all. Our digital footprint is so wide that it’s hard to keep track of everything we interact with online. Although you may not want people to have access to your personal online accounts all the time, giving people the ability to access them in the event that you are no longer able to is sometimes essential. Things like pictures, videos, or messages with sentimental value can be contained within your online accounts, and outlining where and how to access them will be helpful to your loved ones. Additionally, there may be recurring payments for monthly services that need to be paused or stopped altogether to protect the assets that you do have. Giving a trusted family member or friend access to accounts in case of an emergency is a good practice in general, even if you don’t include it within the legal framework of your estate plan.

Student Essentials Plan

The Student Essentials Plan is a comprehensive estate planning tool specifically designed for college students. This plan includes a healthcare power of attorney, living will, HIPAA release, and durable power of attorney for finances. By helping your loved one set up a Student Essentials Plan, you can ensure that their healthcare wishes and financial affairs are managed according to their wishes during their college years. To schedule a phone consultation to get a Student Essentials Plan in place for your graduating senior, or college age student, call (215) 997-9773.

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HighPoint Law Offices PC

At HighPoint Law Offices we support individuals, families, and businesses of all backgrounds with estate planning services that address their unique wishes, goals, and challenges.

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