How to Write an Online Will If You're a College Student?
5 min read

How to Write an Online Will If You're a College Student?

Should college students create a Will? What's the importance of creating a Will? In this article, we'll discuss how college students can create Wills online and important tips to ensure that your Will follows your wishes and protects your assets!

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Creating a Will is an important step in estate planning, regardless of age or life stage. As a college student, you may not have a lot of assets yet, but having a Will allows you to specify your wishes and ensure your loved ones are taken care of in the event of your passing. With advancements in technology, it's now possible to write a Will online, making the process more accessible and convenient. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of writing an online Will as a college student.

Understand the Importance of a Will

Even as a college student, it's crucial to recognize the significance of having a Will. A Will allows you to designate how your assets should be distributed, appoint an executor to manage your affairs, and even specify guardianship for your children. It provides peace of mind and ensures your wishes are known and respected.

Research Online Will Platforms

There are many new online platforms that offer Will creation services. Take the time to research and compare reputable platforms that are reliable, secure, and user-friendly. Look for platforms that are specifically designed for creating legal wills, like FastWill. You should also prioritize platforms that offer support and guidance throughout the process. Use FastWill’s knowledge library to brush up on all the legal terms you may encounter.

Gather Information and Assets

Before you start drafting your online Will, gather relevant information and details about your assets. This includes bank accounts, investments, digital assets (such as online accounts or social media profiles), personal belongings, and any debts you may have. Having this information on hand will help you accurately document your wishes.

Outline Your Wishes

Consider how you want your assets to be distributed. Think about individuals or charitable organizations you'd like to include as beneficiaries. If you have specific personal belongings you wish to leave to someone, make a note of it. Also, consider appointing an executor who will oversee the distribution of your assets and ensure your wishes are carried out. If you have certain wishes for your burial, cremation, or memorial service, you can include them in your Will.

How a College Student Can Make an Online Will  

Step 1: Sign Up

Once you've chosen an online will platform, sign up and start the process. With FastWill, you will be guided through a series of questions or prompts to help you create your Will. Provide accurate and detailed information as required, ensuring you cover all the necessary aspects. 

Step 2: Address Digital Assets

As a college student, you likely have digital assets, such as email accounts, social media profiles, or online storage accounts. Consider whether you want these accounts to be closed, memorialized, or passed on to someone you trust. Online Will platforms such as FastWill include specific sections to address digital assets and their management. You may also have cryptocurrencies and NFTs.  Be sure to list these as an asset and then review the paperwork on those accounts to see if the companies allow crypto to be passed down through Will or only via a beneficiary. In either case, make certain that you leave your login credentials with someone or these assets could be lost.

Step 3: Review and Finalize Your Will 

After completing the drafting process, carefully review your online Will for accuracy and completeness. Ensure all beneficiaries, assets, and instructions are accurately reflected. Take the time to read through the entire document and make any necessary revisions or additions. Once you're satisfied with the content, follow the platform's instructions to finalize and sign your Will. Be sure to pay attention to your jurisdiction’s witness requirements. FastWill provides those for you so you don’t have to research.

Step 4: Safely Store and Share Your Will

Once you've completed your online Will, it's crucial to store it securely and inform trusted individuals about its existence. Consider using a cloud storage service, a password-protected external drive, or a safe deposit box to keep your will safe. Inform your chosen executor, family members, or close friends about the location and access details of your Will.

Step 5: Review and Update Regularly

As your circumstances change, it's important to review and update your will periodically. Life events such as graduation, marriage, the birth of children, or acquiring significant assets may require revisions to your will. Make it a habit to review your Will annually or whenever significant changes occur in your life.

Other Considerations

There are two other documents a college student should consider as part of an estate plan: a durable health-care power of attorney and an Advanced Care Directive.

A Durable Health Care Power of Attorney is a legal form that you use in the event that you experience an emergency health event.  If you are living away from home for the first time, you might consider appointing someone as your "agent" through a health care power of attorney document. Many students choose their parents as their agents. This appointment would grant your parents or the agent of your choosing the right to receive medical information about you. It also gives that person the right to make treatment decisions for you, but only if you become incapacitated due to an accident or medical emergency. 

It is essential to ensure that the healthcare power of attorney includes provisions compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These provisions authorize medical care providers to disclose your protected health information to their designated agents. Healthcare providers are legally restricted from sharing information, even with family members, without a clear authorization under HIPAA. If you decide to execute a Health Care Power of Attorney, you should give a copy to your healthcare providers. Keep other copies where you might need them, such as in your car, apartment, or dorm room. You can also give a copy to the person you designate as your agent. 

A Living Will, also known as a Health Care Directive, allows you say what you want to happen if you ever need end-of-life care. This document may be separate or incorporated within the Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. The Living Will outlines the medical treatments that you would want or would not want to prolong your life. You can also use this form to make decisions about organ donation. The decisions you make in this document will help guide the agent you designated in the Health Care Power of Attorney. It will also be given to the health care provider in case of an emergency or severe health condition.

Congratulations, Now You Have a DIY Will! 

Writing an online Will as a college student is a responsible and proactive step towards protecting your assets and ensuring your wishes are honored.

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