Estate Planning for College Students and Other Young Adults
Many residents of Tampa, Florida wait to meet with an estate planning lawyer until there is a significant life change such as divorce or retirement. To be sure, many Floridians assume that estate planning is only for older adults, for those who are in poor health, or for people with young children who want to have a plan in place. While estate planning can be part of elder law discussions, estate planning is also for people who are young, healthy, and do not have any children. This group of persons includes college students in Florida who might not be thinking about the importance of estate planning.
Why should young adults have an estate plan, and what should it include?
Getting Estate Planning Documents in Order for Young Adults
An estate planning campaign through the University of Chicago emphasizes that adults of all ages should have their estate plans in order, and it emphasizes the importance of estate planning for young adults. While the question of estate planning might arise for a young adult after getting a high-paying job, getting married, or having a child, estate plans should also be in order for college students and other young adults who remain dependent upon their parents in different ways.
Every young adult aged 18 and older should learn more about the following estate plan documents:
- Will: Even if a young adult does not own much property of value, it is nonetheless important to clarify how assets will be distributed upon the deceased’s death. For example, a college student might have a particular asset that she or he wants to leave to a sibling or to a charity. A will can ensure that these wishes are met.
- Health care advance directives: A pamphlet from the University of South Florida provides students with information about health care advance directives, which include a living will (a written statement about the type of medical care you want to receive if you become incapacitated), and a health care surrogate designation (naming another adult to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so for yourself).
- Durable power of attorney: Allows another adult to make financial or legal decisions for you.
- HIPAA release form: Allows your medical records to be released to another party (such as a parent or a partner).
Parent’s Role in a Young Adult Child’s Estate Planning Process
If your child is 18 year old or older but still remains dependent upon his or her parents in various ways—for example, for college tuition and expenses, or for housing costs—it is important for those parents to speak with their adult child about estate planning. Once a child turns 18, the parent cannot make legal decisions for the child, but can encourage the child to develop estate plan documents.
Contact a Tampa Estate Planning Lawyer
Whether you are in your 20s and healthy or in your 70s and in declining health, an experienced Tampa estate planning attorney can help you to make sure that you have the proper documents for any “what ifs” that might occur in life, and that you have a plan in place in the event that the unexpected occurs. Contact Bubley & Bubley, P.A. to learn more about the estate planning process and to speak with a lawyer at our firm about your specific situation.