College Bound – The Importance of a Power of Attorney


As the month of August approaches, I am sure you are not only thinking about the summer coming to a close, but also the beginning of the school year. For many young adults and their families, August is the month of moving on to a new chapter in life: college.

Moving away from home, whether local, across the country or across the world, is not only a hard adjustment for the children, but it can be a hard adjustment for parents. While the children still depend on you as a parent, they are off on their own and making their own decisions in the big wide world. However, parents tend to not realize that they are no longer the legal guardian of their now emancipated 18 year old. This is often overlooked and without proper planning, can keep parents from getting very important information if an accident were to occur.  Accidents and illnesses can happen at any time, in any place, so how do we keep our children safe so far from home? Preparing the proper documents, including a Medical Power of Attorney, will allow for the parents not only to be given important information, but also to be included in healthcare decisions with regard to a child’s health should there be an emergency. Each state has their own laws on the handling of healthcare directives should there be no assigned directive in place and this becomes more cumbersome if your child attends a school out of state.

A Medical Power of Attorney is a legal directive that authorizes a specific person to make medical decisions on behalf of an incapacitated patient. It can grant broader access, such as access to HIPAA protected patient history, or it can be more strict in its definition of the scope of the agent’s authority. No matter how broad or how strict, having a Medical Power of Attorney in place can provide relief to parents should anything happen to your child while they are away at school.

If you are interested in learning more, please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss. The health and safety of you and your family are important to us!