Do College Students Need Estate Planning?

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College students require estate planning.

Perhaps you have recently entered college or are planning to in the near future.

Maybe you are the parent of a college student.

Either way, you should understand that estate planning is important for college students.

According to a recent Forbes article titled “3 Estate Planning Documents Every College Student Needs,” most college students have turned 18.

College students should do estate planning.
College students require a few foundational estate planning documents.

This means they are legally recognized as “adults” and responsible for their own healthcare decisions.

After becoming a legal adult, college students must have estate planning documents in place to give their parents access to their records and make decisions on their behalf.

Young people often believe they are invincible.

They are not.

Tragedy can strike at any time and incapacitate even the young and healthy.

For this reason, all college students should have at least three estate planning documents in place.

What are they?

HIPAA authorization.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has a privacy rule.

This rule protects health care information from being shared.

With the authorization document, college students can grant permission for medical information to be released to their parents.

Healthcare power of attorney.

A college student will use this document to appoint their parents as “agent” to make medical decisions on his or her behalf in case of incapacity.

Durable power of attorney.

A durable power of attorney provides authority to an individual to sign legal documents or make financial decisions on behalf of the college student, if he or she is unable to do so.

For example, just because you are incapacitated that does not mean you do not need to file an income tax return for your summer employment.

If the university is not in the home state of the student, it may be important to consult an attorney in both states.

Reference: Forbes (November 4, 2019) “3 Estate Planning Documents Every College Student Needs”