The 3 Legal Documents Your College Kid Needs

The 3 Legal Documents Your College Kid Needs

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When your adult (18+) child is going off to college, there are three important legal documents that are important for her/him/them to execute before leaving. (Actually, anyone over age 18 needs these documents.) These documents will allow parents to help their child in the even their child has an emergency or iso other wise incapacitated and unable to manage financial and health decisions. It happens more frequently than you would think. College kids experience mental health issues, get in accidents, and get serious illnesses like meningitis. Having the correct documentation to be able to get information and act on it in vital.

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These are the three documents your college kid needs:

1. Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney will allow you to get access to your kid’s financial accounts and records if they are incapacitated and aren’t able to manage their affairs. You will want them to execute a durable power of attorney prepared by an estate planning lawyer, but you also need to approach each know institution that your child has accounts with and ensure that they accept this document. Many institutions, like banks and credit unions, have their own forms that they require customers to sign to name an agent.

2. Advance Directive

Your child should execute an Advance Directive (called a Healthcare Power of Attorney or Healthcare Proxy in others states) that names a healthcare representative and outlines any healthcare wishes they have. It’s important that they start thinking about what their wishes are and communicating that with their family. It can be especially important for the child to name a preferred healthcare representative if the parents don’t agree on healthcare beliefs, or if the child has beliefs that the parents aren’t comfortable with.

3. HIPAA release

A HIPAA release is very important for your child to execute so that you can get access to their medical records if needed. If your child winds up ill or hospitalized, doctors and other health professionals will not be able to communicate with you without a HIPAA release or court order. Getting a court order can be a lengthy and expensive process. In addition to a general HIPAA release prepared by your lawyer, it’s important to check with your child’s individual health care providers to see if they require additional forms to be filled out.

If you need to get these documents prepared for your child, call an estate planning attorney today. I can help you with these if you are in Oregon.

If you want to get started on your estate plan, read about our estate planning services and schedule an appointment.

To your family's health + happiness.

~Candice N. Aiston

P.S. Want to get started slowly but surely, naming guardians for your kids? Check out our Guardian Plan kit.


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Candice N. Aiston is an Legal Planning Attorney for Estates + Businesses in the Portland, Oregon area. She helps people to prepare for a lifetime of security, prosperity, and guidance. If you would like to receive her free reports, please visit to sign up. Follow her Facebook page for daily planning tips:

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