It’s that exciting time of year! The kids are heading – or going back to college. Don’t let them leave without putting an essential document into place: a Durable Power of Attorney (POA).
Without that Power of Attorney, you might not be able to get access to your child’s financial information, medical records, grades, or information related to disciplinary matters. With that Power of Attorney in place, you can assist your child with important financial matters such as cosigning a student loan, applying for credit cards, or smartphone accounts.
In the event of a medical emergency, you and your child should execute an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) or Living Will, which may include a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order or other instructions regarding your child’s health care and important life-sustaining treatment. AHCD’s are crucial when life-affecting decisions have to be made related to a sports injury, car accident, or routine medical care.
If your child has valuable assets, it might be wise for them to have a will.
Be sure to keep original documents in a safe place and have copies available to distribute to school officials.
Before your child leaves for college, know the age of majority in the state where their college is located. The documents you — and they — could need may depend on whether the legal age is 18 or 19 (Alabama and Nebraska). You may also want to consult with an attorney located in the state where your child goes to college to be sure that the legal documents prepared and executed in New Jersey, for example, will be recognized in the state where he or she attends school.
Higher education is enriching and rewarding, but also presents risks that parents rarely consider. While these are not easy to contemplate, it’s important to be prepared.
Let me know how I can help your family prepare for that college adventure.