Estate Planning Around College Bound Children

 Written by Robert T. Nickerson

​Upon scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram feed each spring to see posts about parents and their child’s acceptance into college. It’s an exciting time for them and the next chapter in both their lives. The children are growing up and the parents are going to face a new challenge of guiding that.
 
What this also means are the new things parents are going to want to help in; suggesting college majors and classes, getting the right dorm room, making sure they’ll get a long with their roommates, maybe encourage them to join a fraternity & sorority. It’s a lot to consider with the possibilities, but it’s no secret that parents will also think about losing control of their child once they become independent on their eighteenth birthday. 
 
Many parents will have not considered an estate plan yet at this point, as they’ll assume they need to wait until their older or wealthier. There are many reasons why estate planning should be thought about when their child is going off to college. 
 
Estate Planning is more then a will. Estate Plans will contain a bunch of documents that are legal binding and play a part in a variety of life events. One of them is a will and end of life plans. It may also be wise to think about healthcare proxies, a durable power of attorney, and a living will before they go off. But does this all mean?
 

  1. A will outlines plans for dealing and assistant in personal property.This can all include a vehicle, computers, smartphones, digital accounts, and even home collections they started back in high school.
  2. A power of attorney can establish parents to legally help with financial and education information for their adult child.This allows parents to access digital accounts, student loans, and even bank accounts. 
  3. A Health care proxy can help parents make medical decisions in the event of a problem or accident.Let’s say your nineteen year-old got into a car accident after a night of partying, had to be admitted to the hospital. Due to laws in places, the parents wouldn’t be able to access medical records or make the necessary decisions. A health care proxy is one of the important things to set up. 
  4. A living will can help a child die with dignity.As dark as this subject is, this is also important to discuss. Should a child get into a situation that puts them in a vegetable state, they may not want to stay on life support and live that way for the rest of their life. 

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