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Why Estate Planning is Essential for College Students?

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June 19, 2024

For many college students, estate planning may seem like a task for the distant future. However, the reality is that taking small steps now can significantly secure your future. It’s never too early to start thinking about how to protect your assets and ensure your wishes are honored, no matter what life throws your way.

Why Should College Students Consider Estate Planning?

Life is full of surprises, and being prepared for any eventuality is crucial. An estate plan is more than just a tool for managing wealth—it’s a way to take control of your future. By having an estate plan in place, you can decide who will inherit your assets and how they will be managed if the unexpected happens.

Getting Started with Estate Planning

Estate planning for college students is simpler than you might think. Here are some easy steps to get you started:

  1. List Your Assets: Take an inventory of all your assets, including bank accounts, investments, and digital properties.
  2. Create a Will or Trust: Specify how you want your assets to be distributed.
  3. Designate Beneficiaries: Clearly assign beneficiaries for your various accounts and assets.
  4. Appoint a Power of Attorney: Choose someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to.
  5. Regularly Update Your Plan: Keep your estate plan current by reviewing and updating it as your life changes.

 

Essential Documents for College Students

To make estate planning even easier, here’s a comprehensive list of documents every college student should consider:

FERPA Release: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects student privacy, but it can also prevent parents from accessing important information in emergencies. A FERPA release allows school officials to share your educational records with your parents or guardians.

HIPAA Authorization: Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), medical information is kept private. By signing a HIPAA authorization, you enable healthcare providers to discuss your medical condition with your designated individuals if you’re unable to do so.

Durable Financial Power of Attorney: This document allows a trusted individual to manage your finances, pay bills, and handle banking tasks if you’re incapacitated.

Advance Healthcare Directive: An advance healthcare directive allows someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. This ensures that your healthcare preferences are respected.

Will: Even if you don’t have significant assets, a will can manage digital assets, social media accounts, and other personal belongings. It’s a good habit to start thinking about long-term planning and responsibility.

Other Emergency / Planning Tools and Strategies Students and Parents Should Consider

Joint Bank Account: Having a joint bank account with a parent or guardian can help manage your expenses and ensure funds are available when needed.

Venmo or PayPal Account: Ensure your parents or guardians have access to your preferred online payment platform. This can be a quick way to transfer money in case of emergencies.

Emergency Wallet Card: Carry a card with your emergency contact information and any critical medical details. This can be a lifesaver if you’re ever in an accident or need urgent help.

Add Emergency Contacts to Your Phone: Both Android and iPhones have features that allow you to add emergency contacts. These contacts can be accessed even if your phone is locked, ensuring that help can reach your loved ones quickly in case of an emergency.

Phone Number Exchange: Make sure your roommates or close friends have your parents’ contact information and vice versa. This can help ensure quick communication in case of emergencies.

Introducing Our College Safeguard Package

In California, turning 18 means losing some parental protections. Our College Safeguard Package includes:

– Last Will and Testament

– Advance Healthcare Directive: Authorize someone to make healthcare decisions for you.

– HIPAA Authorization: Ensure access to your medical records.

– Statutory Power of Attorney: Empower someone to manage your financial and legal affairs.

Start your estate planning journey today to protect your future and secure peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones. Book a consultation today.

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This blog is our way of making sure you’re clued in and feeling good about this big life shift, with a helping hand from our team. Remember, we’re here to turn the legal jargon into something you can not only understand but use to empower your family. And, while we’re here to guide you through the legal landscape, remember this blog is for general information purposes and not a substitute for legal advice tailored to your unique situation.

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