Time is quickly approaching for young adults to head off to college for the year. This is always an exciting time for families as they put together school supplies. But, along with packing the car, a few estate planning measures should also be considered.
Kids heading off to college are essentially young adults and there are many new responsibilities they will need to handle. Estate planning is not one of those topics that frequently comes up, but there are a few estate planning documents that are important for college kids. One is a durable power of attorney. This is a document that designates a person to make financial decisions for them if they are not able to make the decisions themselves. That person can also handle financial transactions as well. This can be helpful if the principal studies abroad and needs help signing leases, wiring money, speaking with credit card companies, etc.
Another document that is necessary for college kids is a medical power of attorney that includes advanced directives. This document allows them to designate someone to have control over their medical care if they become incapacitated. It also allows them to express their wishes as to what life support they would like under certain circumstances. If these documents are not in place and the young adult is in an accident, a parent may have to petition the court to be given guardianship over their child.
A legal professional who is skilled in estate planning can help parents and their children figure out what estate planning documents work best in their unique situation. An attorney can recommend estate planning tools for college kids as well as their parents. These documents are important in making sure a person's wishes are followed and to help a family cope with the impact an unexpected incapacitation can cause.