Simple Estate Planning for Your College Kids

It is a day most parents dream of, and dread, all at the same time – their child makes the voyage into adulthood and heads off to college. Keep in mind, even though you may view your son or daughter as a child, in the eyes of the law, when they turn 18, they are a legal adult. As a result, they need to have some essential estate planning documents in place.

An estate plan is critical since it provides directives on who will be appointed to make medical and financial decisions in the event your son or daughter is unable to do so. Obviously, this is a scenario no parent wants to contemplate, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

Lack of Assets Not an Issue

Not many college-aged kids even think about drafting an estate plan. This may be due to the mistaken belief that you need assets like property and stock portfolios to really warrant an estate plan. This is not true. Your estate plan is much more than just a designation of who gets assets. An estate plan provides guidance in those difficult scenarios where your child is unable to make or communicate decisions due to incapacitation. In addition, without proper documentation, parents generally cannot access their child’s financial accounts, according to an article published in the Wall Street Journal.

Remember, once individuals reach the age of 18, the law classifies them as adults, with the legal right to privacy and to govern their own lives. This means that a parent cannot simply request access to bank accounts, medical records, etc.

Avoid Nightmare Scenarios

The Wall Street Journal article referenced above describes a nightmare scenario for parents – a child is involved in a serious car accident while away at college. The parents rush to the hospital and are rebuffed by the doctor when asking for basic information about the medical condition of their child. Why? Because there was no medical directive or power of attorney documentation. Days went by before the child regained consciousness and the child gave the doctor permission to speak with their parents.

How InSightLaw Helps Families with Estate Planning

At InSightLaw, we make the process as simple and straightforward as possible to get your 18-year-old son or daughter set up with a basic estate plan. In fact, we offer clients a simple plan for their children who go to college in addition to a Docubank card allowing access to these documents online.

We understand that estate planning is not a one-time event. It should be a lifelong process where your plan is crafted to developments and advancements of your journey. Contact our firm today to set up a time to talk with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss your college-aged son or daughter’s estate planning needs.