College Student – Legal Paperwork

College Student - Legal Paperwork

Dropping Your Child Off At College? 

Know What Legal Documents They Should Have. 


They may feel like your kid still, but under the law once they reach age 18 they are an adult and your rights over them are reduced unless they give you authority. That authority breaks down into two categories: 1. Financial; 2. Medical. 


Financial Power of Attorney

This document, which is often called a Durable Power of Attorney, or a DPA or POA, allows the authorized agent access and rights to some or all of the principal’s financial affairs. This can be for bank accounts, credit cards, vehicles, investments, etc. 


Medical Power of Attorney

This document, which is often called an Advance Health Care Directive, and allows a principal to define who their authorized agents are that can make medical decisions, including end-of-life decisions if the principal can’t. 


HIPAA Authorization

HIPAA which stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This act limits medical information that can be shared with anyone other than the patient. Your child can authorize you as a valid recipient of their confidential medical information for you to help them and to talk directly with their doctor. 


As always, when reading legal education online heed words of caution:

These are powerful and binding legal documents. Seek your own legal counsel BEFORE attempting to draft these documents on your own. The advice in this article and on this website are not specific to your situation and are only intended as general comments. 


Many states, including California, have statutory forms that can create a power of attorney. While the statutory form may accomplish much of what you need it does not contain many important powers that today’s college student may need. An attorney can provide you with a custom document to fit your family’s situation. 


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