The Importance of Powers of Attorney for College Students

Powers of Attorney for College Students | Keep Your Child Safe at College | Estate Planning Attorneys Bloomfield Hills Michigan |By Matthew A. Ferri, Esq.  Estate planning is a critical consideration for individuals of all ages, and college students are no exception. While it might not be the most exciting topic on a student’s mind, taking the time to create essential legal documents like Powers of Attorney can provide invaluable protection and peace of mind. Here, we’ll delve into why you should prioritize establishing Powers of Attorney for college students.  We’ll explain how these documents can make a significant difference during crucial moments.

To be clear, a parent cannot make legal, financial, or healthcare decisions for their child after they turn eighteen.  In order to do so, you need the appropriate power of attorney.  This is the case even if the child is covered by your health insurance, or you’ve guaranteed the child’s loan.  It doesn’t matter, you still need a power of attorney to act on their behalf or make decisions for them.

Understanding Powers of Attorney:

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that grants another person, often referred to as an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” the authority to act on your behalf in various legal, financial, and medical matters. There are different types of POAs, each designed for specific purposes:

General Power of Attorney: This grants broad powers to the agent, allowing them to handle financial and legal matters on your behalf. It’s crucial to choose someone trustworthy and responsible for this role.

Limited (or Special) Power of Attorney: This grants specific powers for a particular task or period, such as signing contracts or handling a specific financial transaction.

Healthcare Power of Attorney (Medical POA): This grants the agent the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. It’s especially important in emergency situations. There is nothing worse for a parent than to arrive at the emergency room and be told by the nurse that you cannot be told what is happening to your child.  Healthcare powers of attorney for college students are a critical document for every family.

Durable Power of Attorney: This remains effective even if you become incapacitated, ensuring your agent can act on your behalf in case of a sudden health crisis or serious injury.

Why Powers of Attorney for College Students Matter:

Medical Emergencies: Accidents and health crises can happen at any time. Having a designated agent with a Healthcare Power of Attorney can ensure that medical decisions align with your wishes if you’re unable to communicate them yourself.

Financial Responsibilities: College students may have financial obligations, such as paying bills, managing bank accounts, and handling lease agreements. A General Power of Attorney can allow your agent to manage these affairs if you’re temporarily unavailable.

Studying Abroad or Traveling: If you’re studying abroad or embarking on extended travel, having someone authorized by a Limited Power of Attorney can manage specific matters back home without delay.

Academic Matters: Imagine being in a situation where you need someone to request your transcripts, handle academic issues, or interact with administrative bodies on your behalf. A Limited Power of Attorney could prove invaluable.

Legal Transactions: From signing leases to dealing with legal matters that may arise unexpectedly, having an agent with legal authority can simplify complex processes.

Selecting Your Agent:

Choosing the right person as your agent is crucial. Opt for someone who is responsible, trustworthy, and understands your wishes. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your chosen agent.  Discuss your expectations and ensure they’re comfortable taking on the responsibilities.

Estate planning, including establishing Power of Attorneys, might not be the most exciting topic for college students, but it’s an essential aspect in ensuring your well-being and protecting your interests. By taking the time to create these documents, you’re preparing for the unexpected.  You are also providing your loved ones with clear guidance during critical moments. Consult with our attorneys to ensure that you understand the process and the implications fully. Contact us for a complimentary initial consultation, (248) 409-0256.

About the Author

Matthew A. FerriJ.D., M.B.A., is the Founder and Principal of Life Focus Planning, a Michigan based estate planning law firm.  He is an estate planning attorney with offices in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and Shelby Township, Michigan. His expertise includes advanced estate planning, elder law, Medicaid planning, Veterans benefits, special needs planning, and business planning. During law school, Matt focused his studies on business law while simultaneously earning his MBA.  Matt started his own firm with the goal of helping individuals and their families develop estate plans that work. He received the rating of AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell: The highest peer rating standard. This rating signifies that a large number of his peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence for his legal knowledge.