Many people think estate planning is for old people or rich people. College students are neither, so hardly anyone ever thinks about estate planning for this demographic. However, college students often do have estate planning needs.
Do You Have a Co-Signer on Your Lease?
Most college students don't meet the income requirements to rent an apartment and need a parent or other family member to co-sign. Co-signing isn't just a formality. It has real legal consequences.
If you don't pay your rent, your co-signer is legally obligated to pay for the remainder of your lease. In most areas, this even includes if you pass away. If you have money set aside to pay your rent, you probably want to make sure it goes to your co-signer.
What About Student Loans?
Student loans may or may not have a co-signer depending on what type of loan you took out. Like with your rent, your co-signer may be responsible for paying off your student loans no matter what the reason you can't pay is. Unlike rent, student loans can follow you for decades.
While you may not have money to pay off your student loans to put in your will today, there are a couple of things to think of. First, you will soon have a job and start to build savings. Your will usually covers any money you earn in the future and not just the money you have today. Second, you may have life insurance that pays into your estate or some other source of funds that you may want to designate towards paying off your student debt.
Do You Really Have Nothing?
You may be a broke college student, but that probably doesn't really mean you have nothing. You probably have some money, your clothes, your furniture, your car, and other possessions. It may not be much, and it may definitely not be something your family would fight over, but that's not the only purpose of estate planning.
When someone passes away, their family still needs to settle their estate. Legally, they can't just go to your apartment and decide what to take home and what to throw away. They should go to court to get a judge's permission and do everything by the law. Having a will speeds up this process and saves your family legal costs.
To learn more about estate planning for college students, contact an estate planning attorney.