Heading Off To College With Financial And Healthcare Powers of Attorneys In Place
The world has been living with COVID-19 since the beginning of the year. Kids were sent packing back home off of college campuses from all around the world. And now, after months of social distancing and shelter-in-home mandates, many campuses have opened back up and the kids are excited about going back to school. The freshman class is particularly excited. However, due to the threat of COVID-19 even for college-aged students, parents are filled with more trepidation than this traditional life event usually carries.
What happens if your child who is college-aged gets COVID-19 while at school?
Or, what if something else were to happen. If your child were to become ill and incapacitated, who would make important healthcare decisions? Most college-bound kids are considered adults and are entitled to make their own decisions.
Never before has there been a more important time to establish financial and health care powers of attorney for your college-bound kids who are 18 and older as they head back to school. Through these powers of attorneys, you can provide a valuable safety net for your college-bound student as they begin to experience the independence of adulthood.
A part of the independence rite of passage for persons 18-years-old is the ability to make their own financial decisions. Often these first-time financial decisions will include entering into service contracts such as cable television services. Further, many college-bound kids have bank accounts, valuable digital assets, and other belongings.
Through the financial power of attorney, the college student’s financial interests can be protected if they become incapacitated – whether that be paying bills, canceling contracts, discussing tuition concerns, or entering into contracts.
The last thing any parent would want is for their college student to be negatively scarred financially due to unforeseen circumstances that could easily be avoided through the proactive creation of a financial power of attorney.
It’s important to remember that as an adult the college student is protected by HIPPA and other medical privacy laws.
In the event of a medical emergency leaving the college student incapacitated, I am sure that neither you nor your child would want you to be shut out of active participation in the medical treatment plan discussions with doctors and making health care decisions due to these laws. Further, it is important that the college student has a choice in the end of life health care decisions and a voice in who they would want to be making healthcare decisions on their behalf if necessary. Unsettling notions for sure but, comforting to have these important decisions addressed.