Now that your child has turned eighteen and is going off to college, you need to think about more than just packing their bags.  Even though you may be paying tuition for your young adult, in order to access your child’s financial or medical information your child must name you as an agent on a Financial and Healthcare Power of Attorney.  By having proper Powers of Attorney in place, you will be able to administer finances on your child’s behalf as well as obtain important medical information.  We never want to be in a situation where we are unable to make decisions for our children in the event of an emergency. 

It always amazes me that we pay tens of thousands of dollars for college tuition for our children, yet we don’t have automatic authority to see their medical and bank account information, or even see their grades.  Therefore, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get these documents in place.  Drafting an effective Durable Power of Attorney doesn’t need to be a daunting process so long as you choose to work with a competent legal professional.  Likewise, an estate planning attorney counsels families on drafting the right kind of Healthcare Power of Attorney so we can make medical decisions for our college-age children should they become incapacitated or incapable of making decisions for themselves. 

Communicating with your child about the importance of these documents is paramount.  In the eyes of the law, an eighteen year old is a legal adult and a parent no longer has the ability to obtain information about their medical history or their finances without these legal documents. 

Make sure that these forms are revisited often. If your child is attending a school out-of-state, you should have one document at your home and one at your child’s residence.  It is always better to have these documents in place before you need them. 

As always, Goldberg Law Group is available to answer any of your questions regarding Powers of Attorney for you and your loved ones.  During the pandemic, we are available to assist you in a safe environment.

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