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Estate planning valuable for college students

When a child in Florida goes off to college at the age of 18, the law views him or her as an adult. This means the child's parents no longer have the right to obtain basic information concerning the child's medical and health needs, and the parents also cannot make critical medical decisions about the child if he or she is injured while at school. However, estate planning can help the parents to remain involved in the child's medical life when he or she is in college.

One important part of an estate plan is the medical power of attorney and the living will. In the medical power of attorney, a college student may choose to appoint one's parents as his or her medical decision maker. In this way, the parents can make decisions for the child should an injury or illness occur while away at school.

A living will is also essential in that it allows the child to spell out the situations in which he or she would desire for life-support measures to be stopped if he or she were to be near death. Knowing the child's wishes might make it a bit easier for the parents to get through such a traumatic ordeal involving their child. In many situations, a living will and a medical power of attorney are combined into a document known as the advanced health care directive.

Estate planning naturally may seem to be a bit of a morbid task, which is why many people in Florida and other states avoid completing it. However, without an estate plan, a person's wishes may not be honored in the event of his or her incapacitation or death. Proper legal guidance may help people to create well-considered estate plans that meet their unique needs long term.

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

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