When you’re in college, you have enough things to stress about. Your schedule is full of classes, and when you’re not going to school, you have to study or work on various projects. Estate planning is the last thing on your mind – after all, “There’s enough time for that when I get older,” you may be telling yourself.
However, estate planning is not something reserved only for wealthy people or older adults – it’s crucial to start thinking about it in advance. Don’t wait until nearly the end of your life to think about what you want to happen to your estate after your death. Life is unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared for everything.
So, let’s see why estate planning is so important for college students.
Giving Someone Access to Financial Information
Let’s say that you end up being involved in a terrible accident and become incapacitated, or that you become sick and you’re unable to take care of yourself or access your finances. So, your parents or another loved one would need to access your financial information on your behalf. This would be very difficult without an estate plan in place because banks would most likely not allow anyone to access your accounts, even if they’re your parents.
Things can easily be solved by creating an estate plan. This way, you can choose someone to take care of your financial affairs if you pass away or if you become unable to take care of things yourself.
Giving Someone Access to Medical Records
Sometimes, life has bad things in store for us, and for some people, these things can actually lead to irreversible consequences. For instance, you may pass away in a tragic accident or become incapacitated.
Once you turn 18 years old, you are in full control of your medical decisions, and nobody, not even your parents, will be able to decide on your behalf. While this is convenient, it can be an issue in case something happens to you when you’re still young and you have no estate plan in place.
By planning your estate, you can establish a healthcare power of attorney so that you give someone the right to make medical decisions for you when you cannot do it yourself because you’re incapacitated. If you have someone you trust, then with an estate plan, you can rest assured that this individual will respect all your medical preferences.
Helping Your Loved Ones Financially
Even as a college student, you may have dependents. These could be your children or your siblings. In case you die, they would face financial issues, especially if there’s nobody else to guarantee their financial security.
By planning your estate, you can make sure that you provide for your loved ones after your death. Basically, you can decide how to distribute assets after your passing, so your children or siblings will all have their needs met.
Keeping Your Assets Protected
While you are still in college, you may not have a lot of assets. Still, even the ones you have deserve protection. Perhaps you own a car and various electronics and you want to make sure they end up in the right hands if something bad happens to you.
What’s great about this part of the estate plan is that it makes sure that your family members do not have to fight over your assets. You will save them some trouble by preventing financial disputes.
Making Sure Pets Go to the Right People
Many young people have pets that they care about a lot. You might worry that if something happens to you, your furry friend will end up in the hands of the wrong people. Luckily, you can be in control of this if you do some estate planning.
Pets are like your children, and you can establish guardianship over them just like you would over your kids. So, you should plan for your furry friend’s future care through your estate plan.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, the statistics don’t look good. For example, in Texas, 209,191 people die every year and not all of them manage to plan their estate. This leads to conflict among their loved ones and other issues. Still, with the help of an Austin estate planning attorney, or another specialist in your area, you can make sure that all of your assets go to the right people.
Don’t waste time – start planning your estate while you’re in college. It can come in handy if something happens to you before you get much older.