S.K. Burt Law, P.A.
Top Notch Security: Power of Attorney for your College Age/Young Adult Child
With the start of August comes hurricanes, fall, football, and of course, many young adults taking their first steps into adulthood. Whether your college age/young adult child is heading off to college, starting to work full time, or leaving home to accept employment near or far, these next few days, months, and years will be some of the most important times in their life. What an exciting time that lies ahead as these young individuals embark on one of the biggest journeys of their life: both to identify their career and professional trajectory but also, to identify who they will become as adults and how they will contribute to our great society.
Along with this adventure of a life time, many opportunities arise that put these young individuals at risk. Additionally, as these college age and young adults reach the legal “age of maturity”—18 years old—their legal rights as adults vest, which limit the supervisory rights of their legal parents/guardians.
Although most colleges require or encourage students to fill out confidentiality waivers granting permission for the universities to discuss the status of the student at the school with their legal guardians, most other entities do not. As such, it can be very beneficial, if not crucial to have a legal “Power of Attorney” authorized by the respective young adult which grants legal authority for the guardians to operate on their child’s behalf in the event of an emergency.
A “Power of Attorney” (or POA) is a legal document that grants a person the power and authority to operate on behalf of another individual when they are incapacitated, or otherwise unable to make decisions or handle affairs on their own behalf. A POA can be used for all financial and legal matters.
Our good friends at The Weil Law group, PA in their recent post on the same subject offered two fantastic examples of situations that often arise with college age young adults that highlight the importance of having a Power of Attorney in place, even at the age of 18.
EXAMPLE 1 – Lease Termination of a Sick Child
Bob’s daughter Leslie was in her second year of college and had her own apartment, along with a one-year lease. Unfortunately, Leslie got into a car accident with a drunk driver and now she will need physical therapy as well as time to heal. Bob wants her to move home during the recovery, so he goes to cancel the Lease on Leslie’s place. Low and behold he doesn’t have a power of attorney, and the only person allowed to cancel the lease is sitting in a hospital bed right now, unable to do anything. With a POA for his daughter, Bob would have been able to resolve the problem and cancel the lease then and there.
EXAMPLE 2 – Child is out of The Country
Allie’s son Robby is excited to be spending the year abroad studying in Spain. Halfway through the trip however his great uncle Robert happened to pass away. Being in Spain it has been very hard for Robby to coordinate anything for the inheritance he received. Luckily, because Allie had his power of Attorney, she was able to handle everything and make sure the proper accounts were set up.
Although these are just two examples of many different scenarios that could arise while your child is no longer under your constant guardianship/supervision, there are numerous occasions where an emergency may arise, and you could be denied the authority to assist or guide your child. Having a legal Power of Attorney in place can make all the difference in the world in protecting your child’s legal interest as they take their first steps out on their own as young adults. Contact S.K. Burt Law, P.A. at (407)308-2936 to see how we may be able to help you during this time and don’t forget to ask about our “Estate Planning Packages" for college age/young adults!
 Visit https://weilfl.com for financial and Estate Planning needs.