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Estate Plans For College Students

When most people first go off to college the last thing they think they need is an estate plan. However, there are two very important estate planning documents that every college student should have before they leave home.

Recently, Forbes published an article titled Two Documents Every 18-Year-Old Should Sign.As is clear from the title, before parents send their children off to college for the first time, they need to make sure their college students have certain legal plans in place in case of an emergency.  The article provides some thought-provoking examples of what can happen if these documents are not signed.

So, what are these two key legal documents? The General Durable Power of Attorney and the Health Care Power of Attorney.

Typically, these two documents come as standard issue with any comprehensive estate plan. College students need them because, if an accident should occur, then parents are not automatically given the ability to handle their child’s finances or make their medical decisions. Even if the student is still entirely dependent on the parent, once the student turns 18 the parents cannot legally deal with the child’s needs in an emergency … without the child having signed the necessary paperwork ahead of time.

A General Durable Power of Attorney gives someone the ability to handle financial matters for a person who is incapacitated.  Thus, if your child has an accident, you can still make sure rent and other bills are paid. A Health Care Power of Attorney gives you the ability to make medical decisions for your child if he or she is currently unable to do so.  In the event of an emergency, parents can tell doctors how to treat their injured children.

Getting these two documents is easy. Likely, a quick visit to an elder law or estate planning attorney will do the trick. In all probability, these documents will not be necessary while your children are away at college. However, if your child is in an accident or gets ill, then you will be very glad these two estate planning documents were executed beforehand.

Reference: Forbes (August 15, 2014) Two Documents Every 18-Year-Old Should Sign

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“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

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