Legal Needs for Your College Student: Make Sure You Can Still Get Answers

By Tracey  Ingle on August 29, 2017

Your little bird has flown the nest – and is safely installed as an adult on a college campus. No matter how big your baby is, you can still remember the moment you brought them home… You’ll always be a parent and they’ll always be your kid. You’re always there to do whatever it takes to take care of them – and that parental protective instinct can come out at a moment’s notice.

Except your newly minted-adult is, well… an adult.

Legal Needs for Your College Student

And while you still have what it takes to go all Mama Bear on anyone who wants to take advantage or hurt them (and all the nurturing instincts that go along with parenthood) in the eyes of the law – you have no rights or ability to help.

Once your child turns 18-years-old, they are legally an adult. That means that parents can no longer act on their behalf. Even if your child needs it! Like in the case of a conflict with the University (that you’re paying for!) or maybe because you just want to know from the school how things are going, or what mid-term grades looked like.

There is a way to still help you child and be involved with the “adult” decisions they’re making that they might not be fully ready to make. It’s by getting a Durable Power of Attorney for your college student.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

A Durable Power of Attorney for your college student appoints an Attorney-in-Fact who makes non-health care decisions. This is critical in case your child is ever incapacitated or unable to make his or her own decisions.

Traditionally, these are financial decisions, but in actuality, the powers of an Attorney-in-Fact are generally much broader and include things like making sure income tax returns are filed, requesting postal forwarding orders, handling memberships, pets, funeral arrangements, travel, or spiritual needs. Or allowing a college or university to share information with you around your child’s educational progress.

If your child has already gone off to school, don’t worry! Holiday breaks are just around the corner. Even a weekday afternoon at home is all you need to get this taken care of. Don’t put this off though! If getting a Durable Power of Attorney for your child is news to you – then make it a priority.

If you were aware that it was a smart part of parenting and let time slip away from you, then you might want to take a peek at the Check This Out free webinar from firm friend, Dr. Sarah Reiff-Hekking: I Know What to Do, I’m Just Not Doing It: 5 Steps to Bust Through Procrastination and Overwhelm.

While you’re getting the Durable Power of Attorney set up, this is a great time to review your own planning. If you’re the one incapacitated, do you have a Durable Power of Attorney to appoint someone to take care of your needs?

You don’t have to have it all figured out before reaching out to a lawyer – for yourself or for your college student. Be a Good Guardian. Promise to protect your family, in writing. Apply for a FREE Good Guardian Strategy Session and in a short, complimentary phone call you can get clear on what is what is your best next step.

Apply Here – And make sure your family is taken care of.

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See College Sollutions' Margaret Bolton Baudinet on CBS News.