Send your child off to college with all the necessary legal documents to keep them protected.
Congratulations! Your child is headed to college. You’ve packed their trunk, picked out a comforter, and loaded their meal card for those late-night snacks.
But have you missed the most critical part of a parent’s college preparations?
Every parent of an 18-year-old and older should have the following documents completed before their child sets foot on campus:
Durable Power of Attorney
Where you appoint an individual to act on your behalf for all matters relating to financial, legal, insurance, government, or other administrative agencies. The individual is named as your principal and legally appointed to “stand in your place” to interact on your behalf with binding authority.
Health Care Proxy
Acts as a medical power of attorney which allows an individual to appoint a person to make medical decisions, in the event, the principal is incapable or incapacitated. The form also includes preference regarding life support and other complicated medical issues such as end-of-life decisions. Depending on the state, it is common to combine the concepts of a Medical Power of Attorney, Living Will and Advance Directive into the Healthcare Proxy format.
Governs the privacy of an individual’s protected health information or “PHI.” HIPPA is a federal law that protects any person eighteen years of age or older regarding the disclosure of health information without their knowledge or consent. A HIPPA release or waiver is required before the release of any medical, health, insurance, or billing details are released to secondary individuals regardless of marriage, parentage, or provider of health insurance affiliations.
Governs the privacy of a student’s educational records. The term “records” is used broadly under the federal statue and extends to not only academic records but financial, mental health, physical health, insurance, administration, and code of conduct violations. Parents will need a release or waiver regarding post-secondary education that will allow them to access and receive school records.
** IMPORTANT NOTICE**
There is overlap between FERPA and HIPPA in the college context. As a parent, you will need both forms. If a college maintains its own health and emergency clinic or services onsite, then FERPA would apply instead of HIPPA since the records maintained would be considered “school records”.
Why do you need so much paperwork?
The minute your child turns 18 they are deemed adults under the law. This means as a parent you legally no longer have the right to act on your child’s behalf. Your child must provide written approval and consent to access to their academic, medical, and financial records. Without written authority, it will be very difficult to discuss health issues or make financial transactions with banking institutions on your child’s behalf.
Many “Do-It-Yourself” websites and apps claim to provide these documents and legal services. Problem is that these services aren’t state specific — leaving your child vulnerable to potential oversights.
At Champagne & Marchand, P.C., we prepare the necessary documents your family needs to ensure your child’s interests are protected in a friendly and convenient manner. We will walk you through every step so you can send your child to college with confidence and peace of mind.
Contact [email protected] today to get started.