It is an exciting time for high school seniors. College admissions are in, and now it is time to make the first of many important decisions in a soon to be young adult’s life. As May 1st, the college decision day soon approaches, each family with a senior is probably experiencing excitement, anxiety, stress, relief, and so much more. Some children will stay home or stay close to home, and others will move across the country to pursue their dream. After decision day, comes graduation day, summer, and time to move into the college dorms, and say tearful goodbyes.
The transition time between decision day and going off to college is probably one where both parents and their child are planning, organizing, shopping in order to get ready for the big day. What some parents forget is that their child is already an adult who is over 18 years of age or soon to be an adult. This means that if your child has a medical emergency, you cannot just call the doctor’s office or hospital and get information about your adult child. Imagine if you are traveling from far away to be with your child and the only information you have about the medical emergency is the information you got from her/his dorm-mate.
This stress of the unknown can be easily avoided if parents and children add another “To Do” to their list of things that need get done before heading off for college. Children who are already 18 years of age can have an Advance Healthcare Directive in place along with HIPPA releases, and might also want to consider having a Durable Power of Attorney for their finances. In these documents, the child authorizes the parent or guardian to have access to their medical information, and make medical or financial decisions while they are incapacitated. This proactive measure will be vital for parent communication with their child’s medical professionals, and would also give a parent the authority to make decisions, if the child is unable to do so.
Make this a “MUST DO” for your child before he/she leaves for college. Kulkarni Legal Services can prepare these much-needed documents.