College Students

Protecting Your Adult Child As They Leave For College

By the time your child turns 18 and heads to college, you will no longer have legal authority over them. While some parents consider this as a natural part of getting older, you may want to continue protecting your adult child during their college years and beyond. 

Obtaining power of attorney and certain insurances are two methods to ensure that your loved one has the financial and medical protection they need when they venture off into the world. At The TGQ Law Firm, our attorneys can draw up documentation that allows you to make certain decisions for your adult child without taking away their autonomy.

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Power of Attorney | Medical, and Financial

If you’re wondering, “what is power of attorney?” you’re not alone. People often associate power of attorney as a document a trusted source uses for making decisions on behalf of a disabled or older adult. 

A power of attorney is a document that authorizes a person to act on behalf of another person. As a parent, you can seek a power of attorney for protecting your adult child when they need assistance making medical and financial decisions.  

Consider this: If your adult child sustains a traumatic injury and is incapacitated, you can invoke power of attorney to make medical decisions, if your child has formally designated you as Patient Advocate. If you child has not designated a Patient Advocate, their doctors will make all decisions relating to your child’s condition. With a medical power of attorney (a/k/a Healthcare Declaration or Advanced Directive), you can ensure that your child receives the care you feel they deserve.

A general durable power of attorney is another type of documentation that allows you to make financial and legal decisions on your child’s behalf. If your child appoints you as Attorney-In-Fact in this way, you will have authority to:

  • File taxes for your child
  • Manage their bank accounts
  • Pay their bills
  • Apply for government benefits on behalf of your child

You or your child can revoke a power of attorney at any time, but the authority they provide is highly beneficial to everyone.

Insurance: Health, Auto, and Renters

If your college-bound child has a vehicle or intends to purchase one to drive at college, they’ll need active auto insurance to cover the vehicle. In most cases, college drivers can obtain vehicle coverage through their parent’s auto insurance.

Renters insurance is another product to consider if your child lives in a dorm on campus or an apartment off-campus. The policy protects them financially against unfortunate situations, such as a fire or theft, by reimbursing them for the cost of the damages. Renters insurance is usually inexpensive and straightforward.

Another insurance your adult child will need is health coverage. As of now, if your child is under the age of 26, they can likely remain on your policy. Be sure to contact your insurance provider to ensure that your health network is available where your child will attend school. Otherwise, it will be beneficial to help them secure health insurance that works with providers in their area.

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Life Insurance 

Life insurance is something most people think about toward their later years to pay for final expenses. However, the attorneys at The TGQ Law Firm typically recommend that parents obtain a policy before their child is ready for college. 

Permanent life insurance is a type of “whole life” policy with a cash value the insured person can use for other purposes besides final expenses, such as education. The longer you pay the policy’s premium, the more cash value the insurance will have. 

With college tuition costs and housing expenses skyrocketing, many young adults can’t obtain an education without loans and parental assistance. You can help them with schooling, housing, and business endeavors by tapping into your life insurance policy, as long as it doesn’t put you in a financial bind later in life.

Having life insurance also protects adult children in the event of your passing. The policy will pay out a specific sum to your beneficiaries, which can help them settle your estate and aid in their financial security.

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When it comes to protecting your adult child as they prepare for college, getting insurance and a power of attorney are two of the best steps to take. You can speak to insurance providers to find the best policies that work for your family, but setting up a power of attorney requires a skilled attorney, like the team at The TGQ Law Firm.

As a Michigan-based law firm, The TGQ Law Firm practices estate planning and probate law. Our team uses over 20 years of combined experience to help families secure their legacies. Please contact us to schedule a consultation with an Ann Arbor estate planning attorney directly at (734) 707-3232.

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be legal advice.  Everyone’s situation is different and legal advice is only properly given after having reviewed your specific situation.

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