If your child is heading off to college this Fall, you probably have a long checklist that includes buying sheets and towels, stocking up on supplies, getting a credit card up and talking about study habits and campus safety. What’s missing from your checklist? Have your adult child sign a power of attorney designating you as the decision-maker if anything should happen. In Illinois, the age of 18 is the age when a child is now treated as an adult.
A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that allows someone to act as your agent and conduct business and make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. In your college student’s case, a POA would be very useful if
• your child becomes ill and can’t make medical decisions on their own
• they have a semester abroad and are out of the country for an extended period
• needs to sign a rent agreement, file taxes or take out an insurance policy
Without a power of attorney in place, if your child is legally an adult over age 18 in age and becomes seriously ill, as the parent you no longer have the right to make medical decisions on their behalf, which can delay emergency treatment and cause additional stress. A durable power of attorney has many benefits that will protect your college student child and give you peace of mind.
What Is A Durable Power of Attorney
In most cases, a durable power of attorney (DPOA) can be used to allow the designated person – such as a parent – to handle affairs in specific areas of a college student’s life, such as in financial or health matters if you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney lasts indefinitely.
As the college student becomes older and is financially independent, the durable POA can be modified or even eliminated.
Protecting your children as they grow older will provide you both with peace of mind with expert guidance from the estate planning attorneys at Estate & Probate Legal Group in Illinois today at 630-687-9100.