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09/2023

It’s an exciting time when your child has finally chosen the college they will attend in the fall. Right now, as proms, finals and general preparation for college consume your planning, it is also important to consider estate planning. When our children turn 18 years old, we are no longer in charge of their health and financial decisions. You may notice that your child’s doctor begins asking the child for permission to talk to you. This is a big change for many of us to handle, especially after 18 years of bringing our child to that doctor. Also, colleges have limits on what information a parent can access, and it is often up to the student to decide. These are important steps in the child becoming an adult and learning how to become independent. It’s healthy. Hopefully, they will continue to ask for advice as they navigate this newfound independence.

But, as they head to college, parents are usually still involved. We worry about their safety and well-being and want to make sure they are being financially responsible. This is where estate planning for the child becomes necessary. As we guide our children to that independence, we want to ensure that we can help when needed. The summer before college is a great time for the soon to be college student to consider a financial power of attorney and a health care power of attorney.

A financial power of attorney is a legal document that grants someone else the authority to act on your behalf in certain situations. In the case of college students, a power of attorney can be an important tool for parents to help protect their child’s legal and financial interests while they are away at school. For college students, this can be particularly important if they are living off-campus, managing their own finances, or traveling abroad. With a financial power of attorney, parents can help manage their child’s finances and pay bills on their behalf if necessary. This can be especially helpful if the child is incapacitated or unable to manage their own affairs.

A health care power of attorney grants someone else the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. This can be important for college students who may be away from home and unable to communicate with their parents or guardians in the event of a medical emergency. With a health care power of attorney, parents can ensure that their child receives appropriate medical treatment, if necessary, even if they are not physically present.

It’s important for parents and college students to consult with an experienced attorney when considering a financial power of attorney and/or health care power of attorney to help ensure that the document is legally valid and that it meets the specific needs of the student and their family.

In conclusion, a power of attorney and health care power of attorney can be an important tool for parents and college students to protect their legal and financial interests while they are away at school. With a financial power of attorney and health care power of attorney, parents can help manage their child’s finances and make important medical decisions on their behalf if necessary. The attorneys at Solomon, Steiner & Peck, Ltd. are happy to assist during this exciting time.

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