Legal Documents Every College Student Needs
Tell a college student that they should be thinking about something other than grades, parties or football games, and you might get a blank stare. But in the event a student suffers a devastating injury, illness or death, it’s important that they have the following legal documents in place prior to heading off to college.
Power of Attorney
Power of attorney will give parents the legal authorization to sign any documents on a student’s behalf. It will also give them access to the student’s financial accounts. Power of attorney can be accomplished with either a durable power of attorney or an authorization form from the financial institutions holding the student’s accounts.
As part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the HIPAA form gives medical providers permission to share and release medical information about the student to the parents. If you don’t have one in place, the medical provider can’t share any medical information with parents or family members.
If the student is physically unable to make medical decisions on their own, this form allows parents to do so. Without it, they won’t be able to make urgent, immediate decisions on behalf of the student, such as discussing treatment plans.
A living will provides parents the ability to make decisions concerning a student’s wishes regarding medical treatments, life-extending measures or organ donations.
Generally, students have few personal possessions. But a will should be in place if the student is the beneficiary of a trust or owns valuable collections or real estate. The will can address how their personal assets will be distributed in the event of death.
Talk to your college student about what these forms are for and what (unlikely) scenarios they might be needed in. No worries if your student is away at school. Your Dallas estate planning attorney can prepare the documents and send them to your student to sign before a notary in their location. If you have questions about the legal documents every college student needs, contact the experienced estate planning lawyers at Bennett Weston LaJone & Turner, P.C.