Over the years I’ve gotten this question a lot, and as I get ready to send my second child off to college, I have a vested interest in the answer. Your college student probably doesn’t need a will just yet, but they do need some important legal documents in place. Once a child is 18, they can do several things they couldn’t do before, such as vote and sign legal documents.  On the flip-side, once your son or daughter is 18 you no longer have the right to access their medical information or make financial decisions for them – even during a crisis.

Therefore, in order to help my wife and me sleep a little better, my 18-year-old daughter will be getting her own mini-estate plan.  Her simple estate plan will include two very important documents, a Health care Power of Attorney and a General Financial Power of Attorney.

A Health Care Power of Attorney. This document will allow my wife and me to make medical decisions for my daughter if she’s somehow incapacitated, and it will also give my wife and I access to her medical records if they are needed.

A General Financial Power of Attorney. Even though my daughter, like most 18-year-olds, doesn’t have much in the way of personal assets, it’s still helpful to have this document in place so we can help her manage her finances if, for some, reason, she can’t do so herself.

If you or a loved one need quality estate planning give me a call.  I will take the time to get to know you, your family, your desires, your concerns, your goals, and any potential future problems. Your estate plan should be a custom designed to meet your goals. Remember, failing to plan, is planning to fail.

Paul Kellogg is an attorney in Cincinnati with the Phillips Law Firm, Inc. Paul’s practice focuses on providing comprehensive estate planning services to families and business owners, as well as providing guidance to entrepreneurs and businesses on a wide variety of transactions and disputes.  He can be reached at (513) 985-2500 or via email at [email protected]