Don’t forget these two items on your college student’s back to school list!

Legal Documents For Students

The number of items on your son or daughter’s back to school list can seem overwhelming as you try to anticipate everything they will need.  By now, they’ve had their school physicals and vaccinations and maybe you’ve purchased a comforter set, an extra set of sheets (which will come home untouched in the spring), towels, laundry detergent, color catchers, surge protectors, first aid kit, pens, and stamps they won’t use (so scratch them off the list), and the list goes on.  But do they have the documents needed to help protect and care for them in the event of an emergency?  


At 18 your son or daughter is considered an adult in the eyes of the law; and you, Mom or Dad, no longer have the authority to act on their behalf medically or financially.  It is imperative to work with your student to sign a durable general power of attorney (for finances) and a health care power of attorney. So what is a power of attorney or POA in Pennsylvania?  It is a document that allows someone to name an agent to help make decisions for them or get access to information. Did you know, that even if you are paying for their health care insurance or their medical bills, the insurance company or the medical provider won’t discuss any of the details of the bills or their care, although they will take your money?


While we, as parents, don’t like to think about it, accidents happen and students wind up in hospitals.  Having a health care power of attorney or medical power of attorney in Pennsylvania will give you the authority to help your student without having to jump through the hoops of the legal system which can be extremely slow and costly. No one has time or money to burn. The other document that should be in place is a durable general power of attorney which gives the agent (the person appointed), the ability to act on behalf of the principal (your student in this case) in legal and financial matters.  For example, such abilities include negotiating with a landlord for off-campus housing or dealing with financial situations while the student is studying abroad, among other things.

Contact Our Pennsylvania Estate Planning Attorneys Today

So, add these documents to your check list and then call us at Herr Potts and Potts to help you check them off!  The Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys at Herr Potts & Potts help with estate planning, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, Living Wills (Advance HealthCare Declarations), lifetime gifts, establishing trusts, and managing affairs during estate administration.  For help with your matter and to schedule a consultation, contact our law offices today at (610) 254-0114.