Going off to college is a big event in anyone’s life. For the first time, the college bound student is going to be living away from home and be entirely responsible for his or her own daily life. Mom and Dad will no longer be there to make sure that the student gets up on time in the morning and to make sure that the student gets a proper meal.
Not to scare you, but with this new responsibility, also comes new legal responsibilities. When a person turns 18 and is no longer in high school, then that person is legally responsible for his or her own health and financial affairs. Thus, it is time to consider what might happen if a college bound student is unable to do so. For example, if there is an accident that incapacitates the student, who will make health care decisions and who will make sure that bills are paid? Just being the student’s parent is no longer good enough for the parents to legally take care of everything.
Instead, you need a Health Care Power of Attorney and a General Durable Power of Attorney. These two legal documents allow the student to appoint someone to handle things in case of an emergency. Get them for your children before they go off to college.