Is your college aged child protected from emergencies?

21 Nov 16

This week, millions of college students will be home for Thanksgiving break. While there are many topics that families might want to stay away from this year, there is one topic that families need to talk about with their children. Have you and your family talked about what will happen if there is a medical emergency? Unfortunately, many students every year run into medical emergencies while they are away at college with no plan, and more importantly, no legal documents.

What happens when a student does not have documents prepared ahead of time before a medical emergency? In many instances, the parents are unable to access medical information, unable to make decisions as to treatment, and unable to access financial accounts. Regardless of who pays for insurance, school, or housing, the Parent’s legal right to information terminates when the child becomes eighteen.

In order to protect your child while they are away at school, we recommend the following documents:

Power of Attorney: This would allow parents to sign important documents for the student, to have access to and direct financial transactions, and help in legally assisting your child if they are incapacitated and unable to do so themselves.

Health Care Power of Attorney and Health Care Directive: This allows the parent to make health care decisions for the child when the child is unable to do so themselves. Without it, parents may not be able to discuss treatment plans or make urgent decisions regarding the care the child receives. The Health Care Directive will help lay out the student’s wishes regarding life-extending medical treatment, organ donations, and other important intentions.

HIPAA Release: This allows parents to have access to medical information about the student. Without it, the health care providers are legally prohibited from providing any information about the student and her or his health to the family members.

With these documents in place, prepared and signed in advance of an emergency, you can rest easier knowing that if an unfortunate event occurs, you will have access to your child and be able to care for them.

A Missouri Estate Planning Attorney Can Help Protect Your Family

If you have a child who is in college or will be soon, the estate planning attorneys at The Lampin Law Firm can work with you to make sure that they are protected. We offer free estate planning consultations at our St. Charles County, MO location and will work with you to develop an estate plan that fits your needs and goals. Contact us today at (636) 229-9999 or visit our website site for more information.

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