While the fall semester on college campuses may look different this year, this does not change the need to consider the present and future needs of a college student. While an estate plan may seem like something necessary for aging adults and the elderly, it is actually beneficial to any person of any age. The fact is that one does not know what the future hold, and the estate planning process allows one to consider many what ifs and how to guard against unexpected or unintended outcomes when it comes to a person’s assets and the decision concerning their health and finances.
Health care directive
College students are attending school to provide them with future opportunities. What better way to protect these current endeavors than to ensure the student’s health and wellbeing are considered. Thus, it is imperative that college students consider preparing two estate-planning documents.
The first is a health care directive. This designates who can make medical decisions on behalf of the student. While it would seem like parents would automatically be the default, this is not always the case. And even if it is the case, this may not be whom the student wants to make such decisions. He or she may prefer a stepparent or a sibling. A health care power of attorney not only authorizes a person to make medical decisions on behalf of the student but also gives them access to medical records in the event he or she is incapacitated or temporarily unable to make decisions on their own.
Durable power of attorney
The second document a college student should consider including in an estate plan is a durable power of attorney. This document names a person they seek to make financial decisions on their behalf. This step is especially important for student from high-net-worth families, as there are likely more assets and even business interests at stake.
However, coming from a wealthy family is not essential to include this document, as any student can benefit from it. Most students have student loans and bills, so designating a person and authorizing them to handle your finances could help address these financial concerns.
While many thoughts and concerns go through a college students mind, one thing that shouldn’t cause anxiety is who will make health care and financial decisions if they were to become incapacitated. Thus, it is important that college student consider these and other estate planning documents and how they could benefit them.