Simple Estate Planning for College Students
If you are the parent of a college student, you probably have mixed emotions; parents of young adults often do. It’s a new and exciting stage for parents as their children start to branch out and learn to be adults. It’s also a time full of nervous anxiety. Parents are worried about their kids because they want them to be safe and healthy and happy while they pursue their dreams. When your child turns 18, they hit an official (and legal) transition from child to adult. This transition has a significant impact on parents.
When a child becomes a legal adult, parents no longer have the legal right to know medical details or make healthcare decisions for their child. Unless appropriate legal documents are in place, parents may have to petition the court to be named a guardian or a conservator in an emergency, which is problematic since the process is time-consuming and expensive.
“Adult” children often own vehicles, maintain financial accounts, and have life insurance policies; all assets that could end up in probate court without appropriate planning in place. (Hint: merely filling out the beneficiary form at the insurance company is not “appropriate planning.”)
Part of the anxiety of having children who are legal adults can be put to rest by merely assisting your college-age child in creating an estate plan.
Estate Planning Concerns Your College-Age Child Should Address with an Attorney:
- Asset Inventory: Include assets like insurance policies, meaningful or valuable personal property, bank accounts, real estate, investments, and any retirement plans/accounts.
- Basic Will: While wills contain instructions for management and distribution of assets after death, they still go through probate, so they are usually not the best tool in the majority of cases.
- Living Will: A record of an individual’s wishes in the event of terminal incapacity, the living will is essential.
- Revocable Trust: Often a great tool to protect assets from potential court interference, the revocable trust can be altered as many times as necessary to keep it applicable in each life stage.
- Financial Power of Attorney: This legal document appoints someone to handle the individual’s financial affairs if it becomes necessary.
- Healthcare Power of Attorney: This legal document appoints someone to handle the individual’s health and medical decisions if they become unable to make decisions on their own due to mental or physical impairment.
If you need to discuss estate planning for college students, please get in touch with the Florida estate planning attorneys at Elder Solutions Law Firm today. We have the experience you need to keep your family protected no matter what life brings.