Don’t you love that Office Depot jingle where the father is all excited because it’s time to go shopping for school supplies and get the children back to school? It always makes me laugh. It’s also an exciting time for those parents who have children about to go to college for the first time (or returning to college).
- But did you know that once your child turns 18, your rights as a parent end?
- Did you know you do not have the right to look at their grades or talk to their doctors if there is a medical issue?
What’s that you say? But, I’m paying their bills for college (or their health insurance), why shouldn’t I have the right to look at their records or speak to someone about them? Well, the fact of the matter is, once a child turns 18, they become an adult and parents lose their rights.
So, what can you do about this?
You can make sure that your child signs a Durable Power of Attorney (which will allow you to deal with their finances, school records, etc.) and a Living Will and Health Care Surrogate Designation (which will allow you access to their medical records and the right to talk to their doctors) BEFORE they go away to college. Then make sure you supply their school and their treating physicians with copies of these documents so that, if there is an emergency, the right people have the documentation in place to know that they can legally talk to you.
For more information about estate planning documents for your college-bound teen in Florida, please contact the Brandon Estate Planning Offices of Laurie Ohall today.
For almost 20 years, Laurie Ohall has been serving the legal needs of Tampa Bay area families. Ms. Ohall is a Florida Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, and is also licensed in the state of Ohio. It is her mission in the practice of law to protect, honor and educate her clients. She advocates on behalf of her clients in the areas of Medicaid Reform and resident’s rights (in ALFs and nursing homes). She also provides clients with comprehensive estate planning including wills, trusts, and advanced healthcare directives, and gives Tampa area seniors and their children piece of mind as they navigate Florida Elder Laws. Her blog is updated regularly to educate Florida residents about the laws affecting seniors, estate planning and probate.
(813) 438-8503 1127 Nikki View Drive, Brandon FL 33511