As a parent, you have spent the last couple of months celebrating your child’s graduation from high school. There won’t be any more early wake up alarms for you, because your child is heading off to college. They are now an “adult”, the person who knows it all, and you can finally sit back and relax knowing you’ve done your job well.
Okay, in reality, that won’t happen, because you know you will be worried about your child every minute they are out of your sight! This is why you have also spent these last couple of months helping them choose college courses, ordering books, and picking out the best dorm room décor. All of this is in hopes that you can keep your baby safe, despite the fact they are away from home.
There is one thing you may have left off of your list of things to do this summer though…
Has your child turned 18 yet? If they have, they are considered an adult in the eyes of the law. That means you have no legal right to make any decisions for them or to tell doctors what to do if there is an accident or major illness. You can’t even legally handle their finances.
You can prevent feeling helpless in these situations by having your college-bound student set up the following:
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
- Durable General Power of Attorney
- Living Will
These three documents can be helpful if your college student happens to be one of the kids that get injured or have an accident when they are away at school. You know the college years are the time to test limits. College students are often sleep-deprived from all-night study or party sessions. They will be dared to do certain things, have pranks pulled on them, and be introduced to alcohol.
Your child could even be following all the rules and still be injured by another student who is distracted while driving across campus or through town. And if your child is an athlete, there is an excellent chance they could be injured playing the sport they love.
You can never predict when an accident or injury will happen. But you can do what you have always done for your child. You can be prepared for them and make sure they have the above-listed documents in place. This will ensure you can make healthcare-related decisions, handle their finances, and even make other decisions if they are otherwise unable to do so.
It is so much better than heading to probate court, which could be in another state if your child is attending an out-of-state college. Legal proceedings take time and money. And time is something you may not have if the situation is urgent.
So, prevent the worst from happening and continue to keep your college-bound student safe by having the documents mentioned above created. You will love the peace of mind they give you when your child is away from home.
If you have any questions about living wills and power of attorney documents or need to create them for your college-bound student, contact me today.