Protecting You, Your Family, And The Life You Worked Hard To Build

Your teen needs an estate plan before they leave for college

On Behalf of | May 24, 2022 | Estate Planning |

College is a period in life when young adults start to really plan for the future. They could build lifelong social connections, meet their future spouses, and choose a profession while away at college. With all of that focus on the distant future, many young adults getting ready for their move into college dorms fail to think about the more immediate future and what will protect them in an emergency.

When your child turns 18, you don’t immediately expect them to move out. You will probably continue supporting them at least partially throughout their college education and the first few years of their career. Regardless of your personal relationship with your child or your financial rule in their life, you can no longer protect them in a medical emergency once they become an adult.

They need an estate plan before they leave for college so that they aren’t left without support in an emergency scenario.

Your college student needs someone to handle their medical care

If your child has an illness or accident that leaves them incapacitated after they turn 18, you do not have the authority to make decisions about their medical care. You can’t even access their medical records. It doesn’t matter if you provide them with insurance or if they live in your household. Without the right legal paperwork, you will be powerless.

Your new adult can protect themselves by drafting powers of attorney before they leave for school. Powers of attorney can designate someone to make medical decisions on their behalf. They can also fill out medical privacy paperwork that can grant someone they trust access to their medical records.

Plan for the future by acknowledging how unpredictable it is

Your young adults will spend the next few years deepening their education and preparing for a career. They have their entire life ahead of them, and most young adults will finish college and get their first job without any issues complicating the process.

Although it can be an uncomfortable discussion to talk about medical emergencies with your child getting ready for college, you can teach them an important lesson about personal responsibility by doing so. When your child understands the valuable protections extended by estate planning documents, they will be more likely to continue updating their testamentary documents and protections as their circumstances change later in life.

Creating an estate plan is an important part of preparing for college that too many young adults forget if their parents don’t broach the topic.