It's a very exciting time when our children graduate High School and plan to attend college. We often find ourselves picking out dorm room decor, creating a list of things needed, buying gas cards, and countless other things to prepare our children for the world of college.
What we forget is that our children aren't kids any longer and they are now officially considered legal adults in the eyes of the law. Now that they are 18 or older, you may very well find out that HIPPA and other privacy laws will prevent a parent from having the automatic right to check grades, receive tuition bills, or obtain any information regarding your child's healthcare. Now that they are adults, they will need to give permission through a power of attorney or other school generated form to ensure you have access to health, financial and educational information. It does not matter if they are listed on your insurance plan or if you're paying their tuition. The moment they became legal adults, you lost the right to know everything about them.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
Having your child execute a Durable Power of Attorney for Health care will allow them to designate an agent (in this case you) to make medical decisions when they are unable to do so. It's very important to make sure that you have access to your child's medical records. This is particularly true when your child is busy with school work and they forget to follow up with health care items or keep up with prescription medications.
For example, if your child is rushed to the hospital while at college, you likely will not be able to obtain much information or make any decisions for them without having a Health Care Power of Attorney in place. To avoid having to ask a court to be appointed as the child's guardian, you can simply have the Health Care Power of Attorney signed ahead of time, which will also save a considerable amount of money in the long run.
General Durable Power of Attorney
Your child will also need to execute a General Durable Power of Attorney. Although you may be supporting your college student, you will simply have no rights to access their bank account or receive a copy of their grades. A General Durable Power of Attorney will often name you as the agent to handle financial matters for your child. While they are at school, you may need this General Durable Power of Attorney to manage student loans, investment accounts and other financial matters.
TN Drivers License Emergency Contact
Another useful tool that is provided by the State of Tennessee is the ability for your child to add you as an Emergency Contact to their Drivers License. Simply go to the State of Tennessee Drivers Services website and input the required information. This will be beneficial should they get involved in an accident while away from home. This feature will allow law enforcement to notify you in the event of an emergency.
Give our office a call today at (931) 264-4640 to schedule a consultation.