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  • Writer's pictureNicole J. Zuvich

Should your college-aged child have an estate plan?

Updated: Sep 27, 2022

Sending your child off to college is a bittersweet moment. You are proud of the adult they have become but they are still the child that you love and look out for. You want to make sure your child, who is now a young adult, has the tools they need to start off on their own. One of these tools that may go unthought of is an estate plan.

Does my 18-year-old really need an estate plan?

You may be surprised to hear that even young adults can benefit from estate planning. Why is this? It is because good health and a long life is not guaranteed for anyone. Even college students with their whole lives ahead of them could suffer a debilitating illness, a serious injury or could even lose their life at a young age. It is best to be prepared.

What should my adult child include in their estate plan?

The basis of any estate plan is a general will. While a college student may not have many financial resources, they may still have assets that they would like to see certain people inherit should they pass away. A will is a building block for a more complicated estate plan down the road.

Young adults should also consider executing a living will and powers of attorney. A person can dictate what kind of end-of-life care they want in a living will. A person can name who they want to make health care and financial decisions on their behalf if they are unable to communicate these wishes through a power of attorney. This is important, because once a person turns age 18, parents no longer have the legal authority to make health care or financial decisions for their child, unless they are granted such authority through a power of attorney.

Estate planning is not just for the old

You may find it hard to think that your child could pass away before you do. Your adult child may not think that it is even possible that they would not outlive their parents. Still, tragedies like this happen all too frequently. Being prepared with a basic estate plan can save a lot of time and anguish should the unthinkable happen.

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