Is your child going off to college for the first time? Or are they returning to college after summer break? If so, have you thought about their most important estate planning documents?  

If your child is over the age of 18, they are considered adults and you no longer have access to their financial information without their consent.  This comes as a shock to many parents who are still paying for their child’s education, housing, and food. However, without the proper documents in place, a parent may be powerless to help their child out of a financial or healthcare crisis. 

No parent wants to be in a situation where they are unable to make decisions on behalf of their child during an emergency. Both a Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare Power of Attorney are important documents for your college-age child to have to prevent this from happening. 

Having these documents in place when your children leave for college can be extremely helpful as they grant you access to their medical records and/or banking information. A Durable Power of Attorney grants the agent access her child’s funds and will allow the parent to pay a child’s bills or act as an advocate if necessary.  

A Healthcare Power of Attorney is necessary if your college-aged child is unable to make his or her own medical decisions.  This document also helps the parent obtain medical records on behalf of their child.   

If your child is attending school out-of-state, you should have one document at your home and your child should have one with them at school.  It is better to have these documents in place now than cause unnecessary delay and stress should something unexpected happen.