A 22 year old rising college senior recently called into a radio advice show because she had exhausted the $90K college fund her grandparents had left her. She does not have funds to pay for her senior year after using some of the funds for a trip to Europe, college breaks, and clothes. Some of her comments included the following:
1. “Maybe [my parents] should have taught me to budget or something. They never sat me down and had a real serious talk about it.”
2. “[My parents] said there was nothing they could do for me. They’re not being honest with me saying they don’t have [money] because my dad has worked for like a million years and they have a retirement account.”
3. “Then my parents suggested I go take out a loan at a credit union and I’m, like, how am I supposed to do that?” coupled with “I have to go inside a bank to get a loan?”
4. “I know they’re trying to teach me a lesson and blah blah blah and character building but, like, I hope they realize [working part-time] could have such a negative effect on my grades and as a person.”
Several quick estate planning points:
1. The grandparents would have better served their delicate (and irresponsible) granddaughter by funding a 529 plan which would have allowed them to ensure that distributions were only made for tuition and other direct college expenses.
2. If she received the funds as an inheritance, the grandparents should have left them in trust for her and provided that the funds could only be disbursed for education related expenses.
3. This young woman is emblematic of many contemporary college students who are supporters of Obamacare, Big Government, and campus speech and sex codes because they are incapable of providing for themselves and need an authority figure to do that for them.