Newman Law Group

Should a college-bound child create a power of attorney document?

Many California parents will be sending their children off to college for the first time this year. Though it is an exciting time, it can also be emotional and, with the current state of the world, nerve-wracking. As a result, it is wise to take measures to ensure that parents have the ability to care for their children should anything happen, and those measures could include obtaining a power of attorney.

Some individuals may think it drastic or even silly to have a college-aged person create a power of attorney document. However, even if parents still consider their college-bound student a child, that child has likely reached the age of 18, meaning he or she is legally an adult. As a result, parents no longer have automatic control over their child's decisions or personal affairs, including if something puts their child in a medically compromising situation.

By creating a power of attorney document, a college-aged child can appoint a parent as an agent so that parent will have the ability to make decisions on the child's behalf if he or she is unable to for some reason. For example, if a car accident results in that child being unable to express wishes for medical care, the POA allows the named parent to make those important decisions without delay. If a POA document is not created, deciding who has the ability to make choices on behalf of the child could waste precious time.

Though some may brush off this idea as overprotective, it is worth considering for any adult, even if they have just reached legal adulthood. Without a power of attorney appointment, a sudden accident or another unexpected event could put parents in a difficult position. Discussing the idea of having a college-bound child create a POA with a knowledgeable attorney could help California parents better under the benefits of this step.

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