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College students and estate planning


Originally posted on 12/16/2016

A college student looks into the distance, possible the distant future.With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting situated for the upcoming year. However, parents should do their best to teach their kids to think critically before acting. Simple estate planning efforts is one of those things. Keep reading this article to learn more about the value of estate planning for college students.

The Value of Estate and Will Planning for College Students

To the typical college student, estate planning is about as far-fetched as planning a retirement party. However, it can be quite useful, especially considering how many of today’s college students have far more valuable digital assets compared to students in the past. 

Wills and Digital Assets

A will is important given that many tech companies do not have procedures for passing on digital assets to one’s next of kin. A simple will can give parents or loved ones access to (or ownership of) a college student’s Twitter account, iTunes catalog, or Facebook profile so that they may be taken down or passed on accordingly. After all, many of these accounts are governed through a license between the company and the user, and are not constructed in a manner that would allow immediate distribution. 

Beyond their digital footprint is their other financial assets. Though most college students have little in the way of money, any little bit adds up and can be important if they or you cannot access it. Consider a financial power of attorney to handle these issues.

Access to Medical Records

Access to information, especially medical records, is another important reason to discuss estate planning with a college student. Many parents forget that their college-aged children are legally adults, meaning that they do not have unfettered access to the child’s medical records, even when they are incapacitated. As such, it would be prudent to consider drafting a health care directive or a specific document that lists a parent as a health care proxy. It may be helpful to set up a health care power of attorney.

Work with a Trusted Estate Planning Attorney

There is so much to consider as a college student. No one plans for anything bad or unexpected to happen, but it is good to have a plan so everything can be handled correctly. The estate planning experts at Aldrich Legal Services can help you and your college students prepare your estates. If you have questions about estate planning for college students, an experienced attorney can help. 

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

PROBATE 53: The trust agreement included an Incontestability Provision.

A settlor’s intent is to be carried out as nearly as possible. Generally, in terrorem clauses are valid and enforceable. However, a provision in a trust that purports to penalize an interested person for contesting the trust or instituting another proceeding relating to the trust shall not be given effect if probable cause exists for instituting a proceeding contesting the trust or another proceeding relating to the trust.

FAMILY LAW 82: Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order (PPO) after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

However, the trial court concluded that these matters should, in fact, be in the province and the jurisdiction of the Family Division and in that respect, having issued a personal protection order, the Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

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PROBATE 51: Trust filed a petition to determine title to credit union account.

The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

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FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

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