Monday, August 17, 2015

Important Reminder: POAs for College-Age Kids

My clients all know how much I stress the importance of everyone having a Power of Attorney (POA), even children once they turn 18.

This is especially important now that it is time for incoming freshmen to start their first semester of college.

What many parents do not realize is that once a child turns 18, they are legally considerend an "adult." Even if the parent of an adult child pays for school or medical bills, personnel from these institutions are not allowed to speak to the parent; only the child.

Let’s look at a hypothetical situation: An 18 year old is away at college, and all the bills come to the parents’ house. Should the parents have any questions regarding these bills, they cannot speak with representatives from the college without the express permission of their adult child.

If the student had a POA naming one or both parents as the adult child's Agent or Co-Agents, the parents would have the authority needed to talk to the college about almost anything pertaining to their child.

Another hypothetical situation: you receive an invoice for medical treatment from the college and want to know what happened, and if more treatment is necessary or recommended. What if the child is severely injured or ill, and cannot give permission for the doctors to talk to you? You would then have to seek “Guardianship”, which is a long and expensive process.

Having a POA for your adult child can streamline and simplify many similar situations.

Set up an appointment for your child to sign a POA today, before they leave for school.

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