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Why even college students need an estate plan

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Estate Planning |

If you or your child are in college, then estate planning probably isn’t top of mind. But it’s an important process that shouldn’t be overlooked, even when you’re younger. It only takes a split second for something wrong and unexpected to occur, and if you or your loved one aren’t prepared for it, then it can wreak havoc on nearly every aspect of your life and your legacy. Therefore, even if you or your child don’t have many assets, estate planning can still prove beneficial. How? Let’s take a closer look.

How estate planning can prove beneficial for a college student

There may not be many assets in play when you or your child are in college, but estate planning can still provide several benefits. This includes:

  • Planning for incapacitation: Medical crises don’t recognize age. As a college student, you or your child can suffer a stroke, heart attack, or a devastating accident injury. When tragedy strikes, the victim might be unable to make their own medical and financial decisions. Without proper planning, these circumstances can create chaos, with your family uncertain of who is capable of making those decisions, and it may be unclear how you or your child would want those decisions to be made. With an advance health care directive and a power of attorney, though, you or your college-aged child can specify who will make those decisions in the event of incapacity, as well as specify any parameters to be placed on those decisions.
  • Taking care of children: Some college students have children. If that’s the case, then a properly executed estate plan can specify who will act as their caregiver if both of the child’s parents pass away. This eliminates any confusion and any fighting that may otherwise occur over your or your child’s children.
  • Dictating asset distribution: It may not seem like college students have many assets, but they oftentimes have more than you realize. Therefore, it’s a good idea to at least create a will while a college student. That way loved one’s know where to find assets, and those assets can be distributed as the college student sees fit. Otherwise, family members might be stuck navigating the probate process, which can be long and arduous.
  • Dealing with digital assets: Most of us have left a significant digital footprint in our lives. When you pass away, all that information can be lost without adequate preparation. An estate plan can provide loved ones with access to online accounts so that they can obtain needed information, gather pictures, and shut down anything that you wouldn’t want lingering online.

Depending on your circumstances, there may be other benefits to estate planning at a younger age. What’s important to realize is that this process isn’t reserved for those who are later in life. The sooner you can create an estate plan the better.

Do you have lingering questions about estate planning?

If so, don’t be afraid to seek out the answers you need. One of the great things about estate planning is that the process can be customized to suit your needs. So, instead of procrastinating and thinking that the process isn’t applicable to you, consider what you want from an estate plan and diligently work to get the proper documentation in place to protect your interests. If nothing else, at least then you’ll have peace of mind and can get back to focusing on your schoolwork.



Photo of Jennifer D. Sharpe