Despite scientific research, an 18 year old college student is generally considered an adult under New York law. Parents’ rights to make decisions for their child change suddenly when he/she turns age 18. Parents no longer have complete access to their child’s financial, education and health records, even if they’re still paying the bills. Since it may be important for parents to make vital financial and/ or health decisions for their child, it’s important to establish the parents’ legal ability to do so ahead of time. Therefore, a child heading off to college should have a health care proxy and a power of attorney in place once he/she turns age 18. In certain circumstances, preparation of a Will should also be considered.
Why Every College Student Needs Basic Estate Planning, and Other PractiYoung adults should sign a health care proxy appointing a parent or another trusted adult to make medical decisions for them, if necessary. A health care proxy should include HIPPA language, enabling the doctor to disclose medical information to the parent.
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Reprinted with permission from The Reporter, June 2018 issue