Yes, college students and unmarried young adults do need an estate plan!

At the very least I recommend that all college students and unmarried young adults have powers of attorney in place. These are very simple documents, yet they afford a tremendous peace of mind. In the unanticipated event that a young adult aged 18 and older is medically rendered unable to make decisions, these documents allow for a parent or other trusted adult to make medical and financial decisions on the student’s behalf. Without these documents in place prior to the incapacitation, loved ones would not have the legal right to make these decisions. In most cases, they would have to petition the court for this authority, which is often a lengthy and expensive process. Especially in a medical crisis, timeliness of parental input is critical. I have been called in the middle of the night from a hospital more than I like from families seeking to have these documents put in place after the fact. It breaks my heart to tell them it is too late. These documents can only be set in place with the full, rational and able consent of the young adult. If you know a college student or any unmarried young adult that does not have these documents in place, please encourage them to get them. Especially at this age no one wants to think about such scenarios, but the time and expense are minimal, and the protections invaluable.