Once a child turns 18, parents generally do not have the legal authority to make health care decisions or manage money for the child anymore. Privacy concerns often get in the way of letting a parent help their child with these matters.
A college student power of attorney can fix this problem and help ease the transition into adulthood for a child who has never written a check, made a doctor appointment or done any of the other myriad tasks that parents take care of on a routine basis.
This is a very serious and real problem. Accidents are the leading cause of death for young adults. When an 18 year old is taken to a hospital for treatment, the college or university may contact the parents to let them know, but then what can the parent do? If the child is not conscious, the medical staff at the hospital cannot get consent to share information with the student’s parents.
Privacy also affects an 18 year old’s financial affairs. Many colleges and universities will only send the tuition bill and statement to the student, who must then relay that information to the parent for payment. Educational records are also private. Even though the parent is paying for the tuition, the college or university will refuse to provide the parent with a copy of the student’s grades or progress information.
Unless the student thinks to arrange for online banking and financial transfers, the student’s home banking account can become essentially inaccessible to them once they reach school. The next time they can make a withdrawal may be when they next come home. Parents cannot access the account without the 18 year old’s consent.
Mental health issues often surface for the first time during the stress of adapting to college. Depression and stress are a main stay at many campuses. Parents can be totally cut off from access to their student and information about their student’s situation and or treatment.
College counselors and advisors cannot share concerns about a student’s mental health without the student’s express permission.
Sexual assault, date rape, emotional and physical abuse are also common on college campuses. One in four college age women report having been sexually abused or raped during their lives. Students coping with the resulting trauma and stress need their parents to help cope with these traumas.
A college power of attorney is a simple document that allows parents to continue to assist their new adult child with major events and traumas that few 18 year olds are prepare for and want to face alone.
Don’t let your child go to college without one.