3 important forms for your college student
Getting your kids off to college is a huge milestone! They’re one step closer to independence and “adulting” on their own.
When your child turns 18, they’re legally an adult, even if they still need Mom or Dad to help them through many situations. Because they’re a legal adult, they’re now in control of their health and information, so it’s important to make sure you both have the right legal documents in place so you can stay informed and help them make decisions once they leave home.
Emergencies can happen any time, so preparation is key. Having these documents in place ahead of time will make it easier for you to be there for your college student when they need you.
Health Care Proxy
Also known as a medical power of attorney, a health care proxy is someone you’ve granted the authority to make medical decisions for you in the event you’re unable to express your wishes for medical treatment. If you think you might not be available in some cases, you might consider naming an alternate person who can be there for your child.
Also known as a HIPAA release, this document gives permission for health care providers to share information about your child’s health with you or anyone your child designates. In this authorization, your child can also stipulate that they want to keep certain information private.
Durable Power of Attorney
This document enables you or another designated adult to make financial decisions on behalf of your college student, like signing tax returns or accessing bank accounts.
Laws around each of these forms — and the forms themselves — vary from state to state, so it’s important to consult the laws of the state where the documents will be executed or speak to a local attorney who practices in this field. You can also search for an online service that prepares the documents according to individual state requirements.
When you have these documents in place, simply snap a photo of them, upload them to Kith + Kin and share them with your college student. Or better yet, have your child add them to their own profile and share with you — so they can start taking charge of their health and information. (Tip: If any other individuals are listed as a proxy, share the documents with them as well.) That done, you and your child will be prepared with these documents available for you to provide to health systems, to providers, to school administration or in any other situation where they would be necessary. So instead of scrambling for information during an emergency, you’ll be able to focus on supporting your child.
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