Essential Planning For College-Bound Students
By Joe Messinger, CFP®
October 23, 2020
Today we welcome a guest post from our friend, Logan K. Philipps, Esq. Logan is a partner at Resch, Root, Philipps & Graham law firm in Dublin, Ohio. He and his wife, Molly, have three beautiful boys. Before going to law school, he taught fifth grade language arts and sixth grade history. He uses his teaching background to inform parents, grandparents and loved ones of the strategies available to protect family members and legacies. His mission is to help his clients design plans for the future of their children and loved ones. A future crafted with a vision of safe independence, meaning, and happiness. A future that is a bright tomorrow. For more information visit www.rrpg-law.com
The day your child celebrates his or her 18th birthday, many areas that were once under your control are now their responsibility. Your child is legally considered an adult and due to privacy laws, you no longer have access to their medical records and/or financial accounts. You may experience feelings of anxiety or fear at this realization, but you don’t have to if you plan accordingly.
Your child should execute important legal documents shortly after his/her 18th birthday. Once executed, these documents allow you as parent(s) decision-making abilities and access to information that you otherwise wouldn’t have.
Health Care Power of Attorney
A Health Care Power of Attorney allows your child to legally appoint you to make healthcare decisions for them in the event they become incapacitated and cannot make decisions for themselves. This would allow you to make decisions about your child’s medical treatment, if your child is unconscious due to an illness or accident.
Durable General Power of Attorney
A Durable General Power of Attorney grants you the ability to access and manage their financial and legal matters. Your child is providing you permission to manage their finances so you can pay bills or manage bank accounts, cell phone accounts, etc. If he/she becomes incapacitated having this document in place gives you the immediate legal authority and will (in most cases) prevent you from petitioning Probate Court for Guardianship.
A HIPAA waiver (a medical records and information release form) will allow you to obtain critical medical records. Without a HIPAA Authorization, you may not even be able to learn about your child’s condition. While a parent is typically the court’s choice for guardian, the process is slow and in medical emergencies, time isn’t always on your side.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a United States federal law that governs the access to educational information and records by public entities such as potential employers, publicly funded educational institutions, and foreign governments. Your child provides you permission to obtain educational information.
Meeting with an estate planning attorney is quick and easy and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your son or daughter will be well taken care of in the event of an unforeseen accident or illness.
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