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The Importance of a Power of Attorney for Young Adults, Especially When Heading to College

Updated: Jul 15

As young adults transition into college life, newfound independence brings both excitement and responsibility. While parents may still feel a need to provide support and guidance, legal adulthood at 18 means that parental access to important information and decision-making authority is significantly limited. This is where a Power of Attorney (POA) becomes crucial.


Why Young Adults Need a POA

  • Medical Emergencies

    • Should a medical emergency arise; parents may be barred from accessing medical records or making decisions on their child's behalf without a Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA) and HIPAA authorization.

  • Financial Management

    • College students often need help managing finances, especially if they study abroad or travel. A Financial Power of Attorney (FPOA) allows parents to manage bank accounts, pay bills, and handle other financial matters if needed.

  • Privacy Laws

    • Laws such as FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) restrict access to educational records once a student turns 18. With a FERPA release form, parents can continue to access academic records and assist their child in educational decisions.

Essential Documents for College Students

Healthcare Power of Attorney (HPOA)

  • Purpose: Allows a designated agent (typically a parent) to make healthcare decisions if the student is incapacitated.

  • Importance: Ensures timely and appropriate medical care without legal barriers.

Financial Power of Attorney (FPOA)

  • Purpose: Empowers an agent to handle financial transactions on behalf of the student.

  • Importance: Provides a safety net for managing finances, paying tuition, handling bank accounts, etc.

Living Will

  • Purpose: Specifies the student's wishes regarding life-sustaining treatments in critical situations.

  • Importance: Ensures the student’s healthcare preferences are known and respected.

HIPAA Authorization

  • Purpose: Permits healthcare providers to share medical information with designated individuals.

  • Importance: Facilitates communication between doctors and parents, crucial during emergencies.

FERPA Release Form

  • Purpose: Grants parents or guardians’ access to educational records.

  • Importance: Allows parents to support their child's academic journey and address any issues that may arise.

At Anderson Elder Law, we understand the unique challenges and responsibilities that come with sending a child to college. Our experienced team can help draft the necessary Power of Attorney documents to ensure your young adult is protected and you have the authority to act in their best interest when needed.

Our Services Include

  • Comprehensive Document Preparation: We draft customized HPOA, HIPAA, FPOA, FERPA releases, and Living Wills tailored to your young adult’s situation.

  • Expert Guidance: Receive professional advice on the best strategies to ensure legal and financial security for your college-bound child.

Taking these proactive steps provides peace of mind knowing that you can support your child through any situation that arises. Contact Anderson Elder Law today to get started on securing your young adult’s future. For more information, please visit Power of Attorney for Young Adults.

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