In her article Advisers Should Address These Legal Issues Before Clients’ Kids Head to College, Liz Skinner outlines the need for college students to have particular legal documents in place when they leave for school.
Power of Attorney for Property. This document allows the parent to pay a bill, secure an apartment lease for the summer or straighten out a lost credit card on the college student’s behalf while he is away.
Power of Attorney for Health Care. This document gives the parent authority to make a health care decision for the college student if the student is unconscious. It allows the parent to discuss the situation with the attending doctor.
HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability Act Authorization). This document allows medical professionals to share information about their patient (the student) with the parents.
Living Will. This document states the wishes of the student concerning the extent of life-extending medical treatment he wants to receive if he is incapacitated as well as his interest in donating organs.
Will. Having a Will in place is especially important for a student whose family has invested in estate planning techniques aimed at passing wealth down through the generations because the student’s assets will go back up to the parent if nothing is in writing stipulating otherwise.