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Estate Planning

Why Estate Planning is Crucial for College Students: Safeguarding Their Future Today

Why Estate Planning is Crucial for College Students: Safeguarding Their Future Today

By:

Troy Moore

May 12, 2023

Why Estate Planning is Crucial for College Students: Safeguarding Their Future Today

Introduction:

As a college student (or more likely if you're reading this article -- a parent of a college student šŸ˜‰), you may think estate planning is a topic reserved for older adults or the wealthy -- however, it's essential to consider and prepare for the unexpected, no matter your age or financial situation. In this article, we'll discuss why estate planning is crucial for college students and how you can get started on securing your future (or help your college student to!).

Protecting Your Assets:

College students might not have substantial assets, but it's still vital to protect what you do own. From electronics to vehicles and even your bank accounts, estate planning helps ensure that your belongings are distributed according to your wishes in the event of your incapacity or death. This process can minimize potential disputes among family members and loved ones, providing peace of mind during challenging times. This is true even more so with children of divorced parents. That way, the adult's decision preferences are pre-made in writing and will legally control in the event of any dispute.

Ensuring Medical Decision-Making:

An essential aspect of estate planning is establishing a healthcare power of attorney (POA). This legal document allows you to designate someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. As a college student, having a healthcare POA can ensure that your medical preferences are respected and that someone you trust is in charge of your care.

Managing Financial Affairs:

Similar to a healthcare POA, a statutory durable power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to manage your financial affairs if you become unable to do so. This arrangement can be particularly helpful for college students who may have student loans, credit cards, or bank accounts that need management in the event of incapacity. One particular common scenario where this could come up is if a financial decision needed to be made after the student was in a car wreck, and neither of the parents names were on the account in question, so the bank (or cell phone company, insurance company, you name it) will not discuss the account with anyone other than the accountholder-student. Very frustrating indeed.

Providing for Loved Ones:

If you are a college student and have dependents, such as younger siblings or children, estate planning can ensure their financial security. Establishing a will or trust enables you to specify how your assets will be distributed and can provide for the needs of your loved ones in the case of your untimely death.

Digital Assets Management:

In today's digital age, it's crucial to include digital assets, such as social media accounts, email accounts, and online portfolios, in your estate planning. Properly addressing these assets in your plan can prevent unauthorized access and ensure your digital legacy is preserved according to your wishes.

Steps to Get Started with Estate Planning as a College Student:

Create a Will: Draft a simple will that outlines your wishes for the distribution of your assets upon your death. The hope is that you will never need to probate this Will at this point, so we reserve doing any advanced estate planning (like utilizing Revocable Living Trusts) for later in life.

Establish a Power of Attorney: Designate both a healthcare and financial power of attorney to manage your medical and financial affairs if you become incapacitated.

Consider a Trust: Depending on your circumstances, you may want to establish a trust to provide for loved ones and minimize potential probate consequences.

Address Digital Assets: Ensure that your digital assets are included in your estate plan by providing the necessary information and access instructions to your chosen executor or trustee.

Consult with an Attorney: Reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney to help guide you through the process and ensure your plan is legally sound.

Conclusion:

Estate planning is not just for older adults or the wealthy; it's an essential consideration for college students as well. By taking proactive steps to safeguard your assets, medical decision-making, and financial affairs, you can protect your future and provide peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones. At our office, we guide you through the entire process from start to finish. If you ready to begin responsible planning for your or your child's financial future, we are ready to assist you. Please call or click today for a consultation on estate planning.

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Why Estate Planning is Crucial for College Students: Safeguarding Their Future Today

May 12, 2023

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