Purchase dorm room supplies – check. Complete financial aid forms – check. Sign a Power of Attorney & Health Care Directive – really???
Most parents consider their college-bound students as older children, but children 18 years or older are legal adults. That is a very important distinction. Parents of young adults often believe they can still act for their children as they always have. It is usually a big surprise when they realize that is not the case. Below are listed just a few things a parent cannot do for their adult child without a Power of Attorney or Health Care Directive.
- Access medical records/information
- Discuss healthcare treatment options and make medical decisions if your child is unable to do so
- Discuss health insurance issues including billing issues related to your child (even if parent pays premiums)
- Sign legal documents
- Access school records i.e. class schedule, professors, grades
- Manage financial assets in child’s name
Before your college-bound student takes that next big leap forward, take some time to discuss these issues. Make an appointment with an estate attorney to educate yourselves on the details and prepare these important documents. Knowing that you can help your child if the need arises will give you peace of mind. More importantly, taking these simple steps so your college-bound student knows you can help if needed may make that big leap forward just a little bit easier.
Jeffrey Bellomo, Esq.