Young Adults Going to College Need a Power of Attorney

Leslie Barrows
 | Published: 
May 13, 2022
 | Category: 
Power of Attorney

Why Young Adults Going to College Need a Power of Attorney

May is graduation month and our seniors are celebrating the end of one chapter in their lives, and the beginning of another. For many of our sons and daughters, this means spending the summer enjoying their closest friends and preparing for August when we say goodbye until the next holiday and head off to college. While some are going to college in far-off cities and states, others will be going to school closer to home, and some still living at home during college. Regardless of where your son or daughter plans to attend college, if they are 18 years old, they are an adult and are responsible for their own decisions.

They make their own decisions, but still, need mom and dad sometimes, and that is where the power of attorney documents come into play. Without a power of attorney document or HIPAA authorization, parents may not have access to healthcare information, be able to help manage a bank account or vehicle transaction, or any number of the things with which our college student children need help.

Contact the Barrows Firm in Southlake to get moving with power of attorney documents and everything you and your family estate planning needs satisfied.

Power of Attorney Documents in Texas: Healthcare, Financial, Specific, and HIPAA

As many possibilities as one anxious parent can imagine, college students are young adults who need their parents' help and it is important to have the necessary legal documents in place. Without the power of attorney documents, your college student is a young adult on their own. These documents are written to give parents the express legal authority to make decisions for their adult children in college.

Attorney Leslie Barrows is a mother of boys and understands the concerns of parents who want the best experiences and environments for their children. As an attorney and as a mother, she hopes people understand how important it is for a parent to have the legal right to intervene for their child if the situation should arise. Being prepared, young adults going to college need power of attorney documents for peace of mind, for them and their families.

Check out the Barrows Firm blog for all kinds of legal issues that matter to families

Healthcare Power of Attorney for Young Adults Going to College

A healthcare power of attorney is a legally enforceable document that can name the parent a medical agent for their college student. If for some reason the child becomes medically incapable of making decisions for themselves, the parent with healthcare power of attorney may make healthcare decisions for their son or daughter.

In the event of a medical event making the healthcare power of attorney operable, the medical agent becomes the sole point of contact as well as the person who makes medical decisions. Medical incapacitation includes a diagnosable medical condition, mental or physical, or a cognitive disability, for example, making daily activities difficult without significant assistance. A period of medical incapacitation can also be an acute condition such as being in a medically induced coma. While a parent does everything, they can to keep their child safe, even a simple accident can lead to a scenario where a healthcare power of attorney is very important. 6months to send-off: How to emotionally prepare your child (and yourself) for college

General Durable and Financial Power of Attorney for College Students

A power of attorney agreement can be an important tool to help your son or daughter with general life and transacting business. The principal student in a power of attorney agreement can grant their parent as an agent to make business and financial transactions on their behalf. From banking and taxes to agreements for housing and vehicles, there is always something mom and dad need to do to help their son or daughter get along while in college and focusing on their studies.

For a general durable power of attorney document to be operable, the conditions stated in the document must be satisfied. For example, so long as the principal student is enrolled in college part or full time, and has not yet reached a specified age. Parents and their adult children can enter into whatever legally binding power of attorney they want, so long as allowed by law. Your son or daughter must be at least 18 years old when signing the power of attorney documents.

HIPAA Release for Healthcare Information and Contacting Doctors and Hospitals

Using a properly executed authorization form, the principal student can grant access to information to an agent parent as the point of contact. In most cases, the HIPAA authorization is signed along with a healthcare power of attorney. The HIPAA laws protect the privacy of patient information from being shared without the consent of the patient.

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Parental Rights and Children Going to College, On-Campus, and Off-Campus

Some colleges may have agreements in place among parents and students regarding the roles of parents and whatever contractual rights they may have regarding their son or daughter enrolled in that school. But any agreement with a school has limitations. Your son or daughter is as likely to need parental help on or off-campus, so it is important to get all the power of attorney documents in place to cover the foreseen and unforeseen things that can happen when young adults go away to college.

Being Prepared When Going to College and Making Adult Decisions

Every parent of a child going to college should talk to their kids about the reality of life outside the family home. And even though18-year-olds feel like adults, there are a lot of experiences they have not had yet. There are reasons their inexperience makes them targets of scams and dangerous people. No, they should not be afraid to leave the house, but they need to know to ask for help and call a parent for help when they run into a bad situation.

Young Adults Going to College Need a Power of Attorney Can Call the Barrows Firm in Southlake (817) 481-1583