DECEMBER 2018 - 2 Essential Documents Every College Student Should Have!
As you begin to prepare to send your child off to college, you’re probably busy running around shopping, getting books, packing up for the move, filling out financial aid forms, and helping your child find classes. However, there is one important thing that you may be forgetting: Have you had your child sign a Designation of Patient Advocate and a Durable Power of Attorney?
Although these two documents are commonly associated with seniors, they are two documents that everyone should have, including your 18 year old child. What most people don’t realize is that once your child turns 18, you no longer have the authority to make decisions for them, even if you are paying their tuition, they are on your health insurance plan, or you claim them as dependents on your tax return. You still cannot make these important decisions for them because they are no longer a minor.
Here is something that many parents do not anticipate: Your child goes away to college and due to the increased cost and skyrocketing interest rates on student loans, you decide to help them pay part or all of their tuition. Your child begins to enjoy their new found freedoms and their grades begin to slip. When end of semester comes around, their report cards go directly to them. You as the parent, even though you are paying tuition, have no right to get a copy of the report card, receive any information from the school, or speak to the school on their behalf. This is why most parents, especially if they are paying tuition, make sure their child has a Durable Power of Attorney in place so that they can confirm that the child is keeping up on their grades.
Although their grades are very important, the real risk is if your child is injured and taken to the hospital, or has some other type of medical emergency. As a parent myself, no one ever wants to think of their children being injured or sick, but it is important to plan for these things in case you are faced with this situation.
Think of this scenario, your child is rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Regardless of whether you are thirty minutes from your child or three hours from your child, you will want to know details about the accident, their arrival to the hospital, current condition, etc. Without a Patient Advocate in place, they will not release any of this information to you due to the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.
Although these are difficult topics to talk about, many of our clients have benefited from these documents when trying to help their young adult children in many situations. Without these documents in place, it can be more difficult for parents to help their sons and daughters. It is like insurance: you hope you never have to use it, but it is there if you need it.
The attorneys at SSR Law Office are trusted Estate Planning attorneys and can help ensure that your young adult children have the right documents in place. Call us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your family’s estate planning
HOW CAN WE HELP?
Contact us today at SSR Law Offices, at (586) 239-0871, if you think any of the above situations involve you or family member and you would like an estate planning review. The attorneys at SSR Law Office work very hard to ensure your estate plan fits your needs and is then fully funded to ensure you are maximizing the benefits of your trust.