Leaving the home to start freshman year of college is a major milestone for most 18 year olds, and it’s an exciting and sometimes stressful time. One of the biggest changes at this age is legal emancipation, and it arrives with consequences that are often unplanned for by families. Parents can no longer make decisions for their children or receive information about them that is considered private – including medical, financial, and educational information – unless parents have legal permission. Not having that consent in writing can be problematic when a child is away at college, abroad, or just across town. Our College Package provides the three legal forms necessary to provide security for your family if the need ever arises.
This form is named for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and allows health care providers to release and share medical information with you regarding your son or daughter’s health and treatment. Without this form, should an accident or medical crisis occur and your child is unconscious or incapacitated, you would need to be appointed as guardian of your child by a court to receive information.
Advance Healthcare Directive
This document goes hand-in-hand with the HIPAA Release. It appoints an agent (i.e., the parent) to make medical decisions on a child’s behalf in the event he/she is unable to do so. Also, your son/daughter may outline his/her wishes about life-extending medical treatment, as well as other intentions, such as organ donation, in the event of a nightmare scenario. Again, without this form, you would need to be appointed as guardian of your son/daughter by a court before you could make any medical decision for him/her.
Durable Power of Attorney (Financial)
Among other things, this form grants parents the authority to make financial decisions on behalf of your son/daughter. For example, the agent may manage bank accounts, pay bills, sign tax returns, apply for financial benefits, renew car registrations, negotiate/sign leases, and have access to digital assets. Otherwise, a court must appoint you as conservator before you can act on your child’s behalf.