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Georgia Estate Law & Asset Protection: Your College-Bound 18-Year-Old Needs Two Important Legal Documents

Georgia estate law and college age students

When most of us think about Georgia estate law, we don’t think about our older college-age teens.

Georgia estate law and your college students…

Sending a teenager off to college oftenhapps with a healthy mixture of emotions that include excitement and slight trepidation. It’s normal for both the parents and the child to experience these emotions.

Are you sending your teenager off to college for the first time? If they are 18 or older, you’ll want to make sure they have two important legal documents. These are documents they’ll give to the university. They give you rights you’re likely not ready to give up at this point in your child’s life.

The first document is a Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA). The second is a Financial Power of Attorney (FPOA).

Parents Don’t Think About Losing Their Rights To Important Information

Most parents don’t consider the full implications that comes with being considered an adult at the age of 18. Especially when you’re footing the bill for college expenses. You see, once 18, your child is considered an adult for certain purposes in most states, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other privacy laws prevent a parent from automatically having the right to check grades, receive tuition bills or obtain information regarding your child’s healthcare. This is why a student must give explicit permission through a Power of Attorney form to ensure their parents’ access to health, financial and educational information.

If You Want Access To Your Child’s Medical Records

It is important to make sure that you have access to your child’s medical records. This is particularly true when your child is too busy with schoolwork to take care of follow up health care items, such as transferring files or requesting copies of x-rays to at-home doctors. This is why you need to have your child sign a Health Care Power of Attorney. As an example, without a HCPOA, if your child were to become ill while away at college and goes into a residential treatment program, you would not be entitled to know even the most basic information that every parent feels they have a right to know – such as confirmation that your child is receiving care at the facility, much less the specific care being provided.

If You Want Access To Your Child’s Bank Account And Their Grades

In addition to a Health Care Power of Attorney, your 18-year-old child should execute a Financial Power of Attorney. Without it, even though a parent may be a child’s sole source of support, a parent has no right to access a college age child’s bank account or receive a copy of your child’s grades. While your child is at school, you may need a Financial Power of Attorney that allows you to manage student loans, investment accounts and other fiscal matters.

When It Comes to Georgia Estate Law, Don’t Let Your College Students Leave Home Without These Important Legal Documents

Before sending your kid off to college, let us make sure you have the correct HCPOA and FPOA forms that will allow you to help your child should the need arise. Give my office a call at 404-370-0696 and let’s put that extra layer of protection in place that will make you and your child feel a greater sense of confidence as they take this first step and embark on their life’s journey.


Looking to find an experienced estate lawyer in the Georgia area who is skilled in asset protection and estate plan preparation? Shannon Pawley is an attorney in Georgia with expertise in estate planning and asset protection. Shannon can provide assistance with creating an estate plan to include making a will and how to establish a trust properly. If you have questions about asset protection or questions about making an estate plan, reach out to Shannon and she will be glad to help answer all the estate planning questions you might have!

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