While it is exciting and rewarding as a parent to see your kid go off to college, it can also be a stressful and emotionally challenging time. It is entirely normal to be worried about your student’s health and well-being—especially during COVID-19. You may still see your college student as a child, but in the eyes of the law they are an adult.
A parent needs to put the proper legal structure in place to protect their college student. A medical power of attorney is a legal document that all parents should have for young adults. Here, our Celina, TX estate planning lawyer explains the benefits of setting up a medical power of attorney for a child who is heading off to college.
Prepare for Risks: Medical Power of Attorney Provides Protection
Also known as a health care power of attorney, a medical power of attorney is an estate planning document that appoints a trusted person as a ‘medical agent’ of another party. Essentially, it gives a parent the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of their college student should they become incapacitated or otherwise unable to handle their own medical affairs.
With a professionally drafted medical power of attorney in place, you (as the parent) will be the initial point of contact and decision-maker. Without a medical power of attorney in place, any emergency medical decisions could be completely out of your hands. While it can be uncomfortable for parents to think about the worst-case scenario for college students, it is also crucial that your family is fully prepared.
Other Useful Legal Documents for Your College Student
Beyond a medical power of attorney, there are also other estate planning tools that you can put in place for a child who is going off to college. Here are two other core legal documents that can help you protect your student:
- General Power of Attorney: With a general power of attorney, a parent or other trusted loved one can access the authority to handle a college student’s legal and financial affairs in the event that they are no longer able to do so. It is useful for dealing with a number of different issues—including bank accounts, the financial aid office, student loans, and residential leases.
- HIPAA Release Form: HIPAA is a federal law that strictly protects a patient’s medical information. As important as HIPAA is, the law creates certain challenges for family members: It can sometimes be difficult to get access to medical records. A HIPAA release form will give a parent a clear right to access otherwise confidential health information.
Contact Our Celina Estate Planning Attorney for Immediate Help
At The Cawlfield Law Firm, PLLC, our Texas estate planning lawyer has extensive experience helping clients set a medical power of attorney. If you have questions about your options, we are here to help. For a completely confidential, no-commitment initial consultation, please contact our firm right away. With an office in Celina, we offer estate planning services throughout the entire region, including in Frisco, McKinney, Denton, Plano, and Sherman.