By Ana Ballesteros, W M Law Paralegal
As parents race around the next few weeks to buy their college-bound children dorm items, clothing, supplies and teach them last-minute life lessons, there is one more item they should add to their to-do list: put in place a power of attorney.
Why would a college-bound child need a power of attorney? First of all, these college-bound students are now 18 years of age or older and legally we parents may not be able to protect them quickly in dire moments if we do not plan ahead. When they were kids and something would happen, we would come to their rescue and were legally able to do so because we were their guardians. Once that child turns 18, parents cannot even access their college grades or health records without permission from the adult child.
Parents do not want their minds to wander to the “unthinkable” but what if their child is in an accident, or experiences a medical condition while away and is unable to make decisions or speak for themselves? Who will communicate their wishes? What if decisions need to be made quickly? These situations do occur and in some cases require drawn-out legal procedures.