What Legal Documents Should My College Student Have?

What Legal Documents Shou…

Most 18-year-olds who are preparing to go to college are focused on packing everything they need, personalizing their dorm rooms, enrolling in classes, and buying textbooks. Executing estate planning documents is probably the farthest thing from their minds, and even from your mind, but it is something that you should strongly consider. When your child is 18, he or she is legally an adult, which means that you no longer have authority to make decisions on his or her behalf. In an emergency situation, a durable power of attorney and a patient advocate designation will allow you to both handle your child’s financial affairs and make health care decisions on his or her behalf.

A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to authorize another person (your “agent”) to handle your financial affairs. While a regular power of attorney becomes invalid if your child becomes incompetent, a durable power of attorney allows you to continue handling financial matters for your child even if he or she is incompetent, disabled, unconscious, or otherwise unable to make financial decisions. A durable power of attorney gives you the power to sign and deposit your child’s checks, pay bills, enter into contracts, and sell property, among other things. Essentially, a durable power of attorney allows you to do anything with respect to finances that your child would be able to do.

The other essential document for your college student is a patient advocate designation, or healthcare power of attorney. When you sign a patient advocate designation, you designate another person to make medical decisions on your behalf, if you can’t make them for yourself. Therefore, if an accident or illness occurs that makes your child unable to make his or her own healthcare decisions, his or her patient advocate has legal authority to make medical decisions when he or she is unable to do so.

Whether you need estate planning for yourself, your adult child, or other members of your family, Legacy Law Center handles all facets of estate planning for clients on a daily basis. We know how to best advise you, based on your circumstances, what options for estate planning are an option for you. Take the first step and call our office today to set up a meeting time with one of our Michigan estate planning attorneys.

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