As your child heads off to college, one “must-have” item you won’t see on any packing list this fall is a signed Power of Attorney. Many states will recognize your 18-year-old as an adult in most cases, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other laws on privacy, a parent has no automatic right to view secure healthcare information, check on grades, receive tuition bills, or pay other expenses.

As an adult, your child needs to give permission for their parents to access their health, financial, or academic information by a Power of Attorney.

Why Your Child Needs a Power of Attorney for Health Care

A Health Care Power of Attorney would help your family continue their health care without interruptions. A POA appoints an agent (most often a parent) who can have the powers and obligations to make medical decisions on behalf of an individual if they are unable to do so. Ensuring access to your child’s medical records can help in times of crisis or just regular follow-ups, such as transferring files or requesting copies of x-rays to at-home doctors. If your child is too busy with school work and activities to follow up, it means you can help as needed.

Why a Power of Attorney for Property and Finances is Prudent

Developing a Power of Attorney for Finances and Property allows you to manage significant financial situations for your children, whether or not they become ill. A POA designates an agent (usually a parent) on behalf of the principal (your child) for financial matters. While your child is at school, you may need the POA to manage student loans and bank accounts, pay rent or utilities, safeguard investments, or other fiscal responsibilities.

Contact us for assistance.