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Why do college students need to think about estate planning?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Estate planning, often associated with later life stages, might seem premature for college students. However, life’s unpredictability does not exempt younger adults, making estate planning an important consideration even at this early stage of life. 

The following are just a few of the compelling reasons why college students should engage in estate planning, as long as they’ve reached the age of 18. 

Medical considerations

One of the most immediate concerns for college students is who will make medical decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. A healthcare proxy or medical power of attorney allows students to appoint someone they trust to make healthcare decisions for them if they are unable to do so. This is an important safeguard in emergency medical situations where immediate family members likely no longer have default legal authority over a young adult’s circumstances. 

Digital assets

Social media accounts, digital wallets, emails and blogs are part of one’s digital estate. An estate plan can include instructions about how these digital assets should be handled, including access information and whether they should be preserved, archived or deleted, in the event of a student’s incapacity or death. This is an important effort for a host of reasons, including privacy. 

Personal belongings and financial assets

While many college students may not own substantial physical or financial assets, they often possess items of sentimental value or have started saving money. An estate plan can specify the distribution of these items and any financial assets, no matter how modest, ensuring they are bequeathed according to the student’s wishes.

Ultimately, having an estate plan in place can inspire peace of mind for both a student and their family. Making this effort can help to ensure that, in the event of a tragedy, a student’s wishes are known and can be carried out efficiently and effectively.