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Why You Should Visit an Estate Planning Attorney Before Your Teenager Goes Off to College

BY: Law Offices of Andrew Cohen | March 7, 2023

Sending your child off to college is a significant milestone in both your lives. As a parent, you want to make sure your child is prepared for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. One way to ensure your child’s safety and well-being is to visit an estate planning attorney before they leave for college. The following are key reasons to take this step:

Ensuring Medical Decisions Can Be Made

If your child is injured or becomes seriously ill while away at college, you may need to make medical decisions on their behalf. However, if your child is over the age of 18, you likely will not automatically have the legal authority to do so without proper planning in place. By working with an estate planning attorney, you can have documents created such as a healthcare power of attorney and a living will that give you the authority to make medical decisions for your child in the event they are unable to do so themselves.

Protecting Your Child’s Finances

College students are vulnerable to financial fraud and identity theft, and they may not have the knowledge or experience to protect themselves. By working with an estate planning attorney, you can set up financial documents such as a durable power of attorney and a possibly a trust that can protect your child’s assets and finances while they are away at school.

Creating a Plan for Incapacity

If your child becomes incapacitated due to illness or injury while away at college, you may need to take legal action to ensure their needs are met. By visiting an estate planning attorney, you can create a plan for incapacity that designates a guardian or conservator to manage your child’s affairs if they become unable to do so themselves.

Ensuring Your Child’s Wishes Are Respected

By working with an estate planning attorney, you can ensure your child’s wishes are respected in the event of their incapacitation or death. For example, you can create a living will that outlines your child’s preferences for end-of-life care, or you can create a trust that designates how their assets should be distributed. This certainly isn’t a topic any parent wants to think about when sending a kid to college, but addressing these matters can offer long-term peace of mind.
At the Law Offices of Andrew Cohen, our Encino estate planning attorney knows that visiting a lawyer is an easy task to overlook in the whirlwind of activity that preparing a child for college may involve. However, taking this step can be a very wise decision for the reasons listed here. Learn more about how to get started by contacting us online or calling us at 661-481-0100.

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