Many parents forget that once their child hits 18, they no longer have legal rights to make decisions for their young adult children. This can become a major issue when it comes to medical emergencies or financial decisions. Our partner, Mama Bear Legal Forms, can shed some light on why getting your legal documents in order before the worst happens is so important!
Summer is an exciting time. For families, it’s time to take that trip they’ve been planning. For new college students, it’s a time of transition and preparation.
For parents, the summer months mean helping their students get ready for the next stage of their lives. For many, that includes living away from the home and city they were raised in for the first time.
As you take care of all the things, big and small, getting your child ready for school, don’t overlook a set of important legal documents that every parent should have in place for their young adult student – a young adult power of attorney package.
This is a common question many parents have, so we’ll take a moment to answer it before we jump into three critical places you’ll need one if you want to help your student handle a difficult, challenging or even life-threatening situation.
As many of us know all too well, accidents can happen at any time, (including while away at college). These accidents can sometimes cause an adult child to be unresponsive, incapacitated or need hospitalization.
A young adult, or anyone for that matter, who normally makes level-headed decisions, may become temporarily sidelined by an illness or accident and need help making medical or financial decisions.
Or, they may need help navigating a confusing financial aid situation.
Healthcare power of attorney forms and financial POAs give you as the parent the ability and authority to receive the necessary information to make healthcare and/or financial decisions for or with your child.
Without these forms, a state may appoint a guardian or conservator for you. Or, a hospital or doctor may be unable to share medical treatment information with you. Power of attorney forms eliminate these concerns.
There are at least three critical times in your adult child’s life where they may need a POA form in place if you are to be able to help them and care for them. The first is in a healthcare setting.
If your child becomes sick or injured, or has an accident and becomes incapacitated, a POA form will allow you to talk to doctors, get information, and make decisions about your student’s best care.
The same document will also let you be present if your child is incapacitated.
Without those forms, you may be locked out of knowing anything about what medical treatment is being provided to your child. Even if you’re a doctor or physician yourself.
This was the case for Dr. Jason Feinstein. As we shared in his story, his college-age son was severely dehydrated checked in to an urgent care facility. Doctors wanted to rehydrate Jason’s son, and he wanted Jason’s advice on whether or not he should consent to their treatment.
Doctors wouldn’t talk to Dr. Feinstein.
Thankfully, Jason had used Mama Bear Legal Forms to create power of attorney forms for his son. He had the forms on his computer and was able to quickly retrieve them and send them to his son.
Seeing the forms made all the difference.
As soon as the doctors saw the forms, they instantly began sharing their recommended course of treatment with Jason.
If your child needs help dealing with a financial issue with a bank, landlord, student loan officer, insurance company, or credit card institution, you will not be able to converse with any of those agents unless you have a financial POA signed and ready to show.
With that form in place, however, you can sign the necessary paperwork for your child, gather information about the situation at hand, communicate with financial agents and companies on your child’s behalf, and manage their accounts.
While we never want our children to fall into credit card debt, or find themselves in financial situations they feel ill-equipped to handle, those situations do occur.
Wise parents will get the forms in place ahead of time so they can continue to support and care for their adult children in all their financial situations.
A third area your child may need your help and not be able to receive it without POA forms in place is at their educational institution.
They may experience an issue with their education records and want your help resolving it. Or, they may need you to advocate for them with an admissions officer.
They may need your assistance dealing with the business office about registration or billing issues.
If you want to do so much as check tuition and fee balances, you may not be able to do so without a financial POA form in place or a FERPA release.
Whether your child has a question about their financial aid or student loans or needs help clearing up a grade or registration in a class, if they come to you for help, without those forms, you’ll be powerless to assist them.
All these situations show why you need a young adult power of attorney form.
Many important changes occur when a young person becomes a legal adult. As a parent you can no longer:
We assume that because we’re parents, we have automatic authority to handle decisions for our children when they need our help. But the reality is that without the proper legal documents in place and easily accessible, we could find ourselves powerless to help when our children need it the most.
Going to college is more than a full-time job for your child. There will be times when your child could use your help dealing with hospitals, financial institutions, and their college.
Mama Bear Legal Forms Young Adult POA packages include all the important documents to empower and legally authorize you to help your child in a time of need.
Our forms are law-firm quality, state-specific documents that are easy to create, simple to download and incredibly affordable.
All four of the forms we offer in our young adult package are legally valid in all states and include guidance on how to complete them.
Plus, we now include a free Mama Bear Legal Forms app that you can use to scan, store and share your POA forms with ease.
Your POA form is your proof of authority to make legal, financial and health care decisions for your adult child. Unlike a will, the original, signed copy of a POA is not necessary to prove your authority to make decisions for your adult child.
Most people store their POA forms and other legal documents in a safe or file cabinet at home. While this is wise, it’s not accessible in an emergency.
That’s why we created our new, free app to scan, store and share your POA forms. With Mama Bear, you’ll always have these important documents with you – just a click away and can have the confidence that if and when your child needs you, you’ll be able to help them.
Getting your child’s POA forms in place takes only about ten minutes and costs just $79. Our package includes:
It only takes ten minutes to create the documents your child needs. Get yours now.