New York college students have plenty of things on their minds with college classes, studying for finals, working, socializing and even managing living away from home. Now experts say that students should add estate planning to their already lengthy to-do lists. So how do will and trusts fit in with finals and why is it so important at this age?
The common misconception is that estate planning s for the elderly - or at least those who are middle-aged. So why would someone with no home or children and very little assets needs to think about drafting estate planning documents? Because there are other decisions that should be legally memorialized.
For example, what would happen if students were to get seriously injured while away at college? If they become incapacitated, who would make decisions for them? Most people have an idea of what they would want to happen in a serious medical situation, but many fail to put it in writing. This is why having a health care directive, authorizing someone to make medical decisions on New York resident's behalf, is helpful in these cases.
Since college students are often adults, parents won't have access to their children's medical records. A document allowing parents access to medical records can make things easier on a person's family in case the unexpected were to occur.
Having a power of attorney - for health care and financial decisions - is also important. This person can take care of a person's money, bills and other assets when they are unable to do so. Through a power of attorney, it is possible to outline how the agent should use the money so that it isn't mismanaged.
Putting off these important estate planning decisions may seem easier now, but creating one sooner rather than later is a smart move to ensure New York parents will not be shut out of their college going children's lives.
Source: NBC News, "Even young adults should start estate planning," Sheyna Steiner, May 6, 2013