Do College Students Really Need Estate Planning?

To many, estate planning is thought of as something “old people” do. In actuality, everyone 18 years of age or older is a candidate for some form of estate planning. Life brings many unexpected surprises — both good and bad. Preparing for college typically includes a checklist with such things as a laptop or tablet, bed sheets, pillows, school supplies, and the like. One thing that is rarely found on such a list is an estate plan.

Whether preparing to leave for college or currently attending, students should have a basic estate plan in order. At a bare minimum, such a plan should include:

  1. Durable Financial Power of Attorney
  2. Durable Healthcare Power of Attorney
  3. Advanced Healthcare Directive (“Living Will”)
  4. HIPPA Authorization and Waiver

These documents together provide parents with a means of assisting the student in both financial and medical matters — whether emergency or not, big or small. Some common scenarios involve paying bills, filing tax returns, and obtaining medical documents or other needed information. Less common realities include serious injury or incapacity due to illness or accident. This type of planning can prove to be quite valuable. Much like insurance, it is there when needed.

Everyone 18 years of age or older should have some form of estate plan, especially college students.


Attorney Joseph C. Jones advises clients on estate planning, asset protection, business law, and real estate law matters. Joe can be reached at (906) 914-4181 or joe@joneslawplc.com. Jones Law PLC is a Michigan & Wisconsin based provider of legal services.