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Should your teen have a living will before attending college?

As a parent, you are proud to have raised a smart and well-rounded son or daughter. Now that your child’s high school graduation is on the horizon, you are probably busy finding the right college or university. Your teen probably has some work to do prior to moving into the dorms, though.

Before your teen leaves home to attend college, you probably want to talk to him or her about drafting a living will. According to the Mayo Clinic, a living will is a legally binding document that outlines the medical procedures your child wants to receive and the ones he or she would rather not receive.

You can no longer make your child’s medical decisions

You have probably accompanied your child to every medical appointment he or she has ever attended. You also question doctors to ensure your son or daughter receives top-level care. After your child turns 18, however, you are likely to lose the legal authority to make his or her medical decisions. Helping your son or daughter draft a living will can allow you to retain some control.

Your child might be unfamiliar with medical care

If your child is going to school in a faraway place, he or she is unlikely to know doctors and other health care providers. This can make obtaining informed medical care more difficult. By writing a living will, your child has the opportunity to reflect on and memorialize his or her values.

Ultimately, even though he or she may never use a living will, the process of creating one can be good for college-bound students.