Essential Legal Preparations for Parents of College-Bound Teens

Essential Legal Preparati…

As graduation season concludes, many parents are busy preparing their children for the exciting journey ahead—college. Amongst the flurry of packing and buying dorm essentials, there’s one critical step that often gets overlooked: securing a Power of Attorney (POA) for your soon-to-be college student.

At Wood Stabell Law Group, we understand the myriad of emotions and tasks that come with sending a child off to college. However, ensuring that you have the appropriate legal documents in place can save you significant stress and complications down the road.

Why Do You Need a POA?

Once your child turns 18, they are legally considered an adult. This means you no longer have automatic access to their financial, educational, or health records. In situations where your child might need medical attention or financial assistance, having a POA ensures that you can act on their behalf promptly and effectively.

Health Care Power of Attorney

A Health Care POA allows you to make medical decisions for your child if they are unable to do so. This can be crucial in emergencies where timely decision-making is essential. Without this document, you might face unnecessary delays and obstacles in getting the care your child needs.

General Power of Attorney

A General POA provides you with the authority to manage your child's financial affairs, including accessing bank accounts, paying bills, and handling other financial transactions. This can be incredibly useful, especially if your child is studying out-of-state or abroad and encounters unexpected financial issues.

The Consequences of Not Having a POA

Without these documents, you could find yourself in a situation where you have no legal authority to assist your child during critical times. Imagine your child is in a medical emergency but the hospital won’t share information or allow you to make decisions. Or picture needing to access your child's bank account to address an urgent financial matter, only to be denied access. These scenarios are not only stressful but can also have serious repercussions for your child's well-being and financial stability.

Take Action Now

Before your child heads off to college, take the time to consult with a legal professional to set up both a Health Care POA and a General POA. It’s a simple step that provides peace of mind and ensures you can support your child no matter what challenges arise.

By ensuring you have these essential documents in place, you’re not just preparing your child for college—you’re also protecting their health and financial well-being. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in safeguarding your child's future.

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by virtue of this article. For specific legal advice related to your situation, please consult with a qualified attorney.