College kids and parents put minds at ease with estate planning

Going to class, studying and finding the best party of the weekend might all be on a college student’s agenda, but one very important thing usually is not — their wills. Estate planning might not seem necessary for young adults who may not, otherwise, have much to their names, but there are real consequences for failing to create a comprehensive estate plan. At the college age, young adults in Arizona and their parents might need to take into account what can happen if a student becomes suddenly ill.

Aside from a basic will that determines what will happen to an individual’s assets, estate plans can provide excellent protection in a number of situations. Most young adults take for granted that their parents were recently in charge of their health care and assume that they will still be able to make decisions on their behalves in the event of an emergency. While parents might be given permission to make decisions on the behalf of an incapacitated adult child, this ability is not guaranteed and should instead be secured by the use of a medical power of attorney.

However, simply giving parents the ability to make medical decisions does not necessarily secure the best possible care. College students can make use of living wills to outline what medical procedures and interventions they feel comfortable with. For children who have been out of their parents care for some time, a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) release form will allow parents to retrieve necessary medical information.

What happens after the four years of college might not seem very interesting to students first entering college. Many college students in Arizona fail to take into account the seriousness of estate planning and how it can positively impact their lives. Even basic planning can ensure that parents are equipped to make decisions on behalf of their adult children if the need arises.

Source:, “Does a College Student Need an Estate Plan?“, Brad Wiewel, Sept. 6, 2016

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