Sending your kids off to college is exciting – and somewhat terrifying. Once you get through the hassles of college admission and financial aid, there’s a long list of things to do and supplies to buy. Add one thing to your to-do list: prepare an estate plan. It’s not fun to talk about, but your teenage, college-bound kids need Wills and other estate planning documents.
Last Will and Testament
A last will and testament is your son or daughter’s opportunity to state their last wishes. Minnesota does not recognize oral, holographic, or electronic wills. So, your child’s will must be in writing. Since there are other laws about preparing and executing wills, it’s best to have a qualified Minnesota estate planning attorney draft and finalize the Will.
Creating and funding a trust is another way for your child to manage and transfer personal property. As with other estate planning documents, an attorney can advise whether a trust is needed.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney gives an individual the opportunity to authorize an agent to make decisions for them. The person signing the power of attorney can designate how much power the agent has and can even limit the power of attorney to a specific time frame or event.
Health Care Directive
The document allows people to state their beliefs about the type and extent of medical care they want and designate an agent to act for you if necessary. If a child is over age 18, medical providers may be restricted from discussing their medical care with parents due to privacy laws.
There’s almost a 100% chance your child has ‘digital assets.’ Though still loosely defined, digital assets can mean any account kept or accessed online like bank accounts, investment accounts, memberships, email accounts, and music collections. After someone’s death or incapacity, their digital assets live on in some form for some time. In 2016, Minnesota joined other states across the county by adopting the Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA). As part of their estate planning, people should leave a list of digital assets, where they’re located, how to access them, and whether to access them. Some accounts and documents are so private, people may want to shield them from scrutiny even after death. This is the time for your teens to make their wishes known. To maintain privacy, people often leave the list with an attorney or a trusted personal representative.
In some cases, your teen may own enough assets to consider creating and funding a living trust. When discussing estate planning with your attorney, make sure your attorney knows about all assets so a decision can be made about whether to a living trust is necessary.
And, finally, make sure your child has named beneficiaries or made transfer-on-death/payable-on-death designations for financial accounts and insurance policies.
Take the First Step
At Virtus Law, we know it can be difficult to talk about estate planning, especially for young people. To schedule an appointment with one of our estate planning attorneys, contact us at 612.888.1000 or send an email to email@example.com. Our main office is in Minneapolis, but we serve other communities like Edina, Mendota Heights, and Red Wing.