Powers of Attorney for College Students: A Guide for Parents and Students

June 3, 2024



As your high school graduate prepares for his or her first year in college, or even while a current college student is home for the summer, it is a great time to consider the need for a Power of Attorney (POA). This legal document grants someone else the authority to act on behalf of the student in certain situations, offering peace of mind and practical assistance during critical moments.

Understanding Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document that authorizes someone, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to make decisions and act on behalf of another person, referred to as the principal. Powers of attorney can be tailored to specific needs and situations, granting broad or limited powers depending on the individual’s preferences and needs.

Why College Students Need Powers of Attorney
1. Medical Emergencies. Accidents and illnesses can happen anytime, anywhere. In the event of a medical emergency, having a medical power of attorney allows the designated agent to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the student if they are unable to do so themselves.
2. Financial Matters. Whether it’s managing bank accounts, paying bills, or handling financial aid paperwork, having a financial power of attorney enables parents or trusted individuals to assist with financial matters while the student is away at college.
3. Legal Representation. If legal issues arise, such as signing leases, contracts, or other legal documents, a power of attorney grants the designated agent the authority to act on the student’s behalf.

How to Create a Power of Attorney
1. Consult with Legal Professionals. Our office can ensure the document meets legal requirements and addresses specific needs.
2. Consider Trusted Individuals. When selecting an agent, choose someone responsible and trustworthy who understands the student’s wishes and preferences.
3. Review and Update Regularly. Circumstances may change over time, so it’s important to review and update the power of attorney as needed, especially after major life events or changes in relationships.

Powers of attorney are valuable legal tools that provide college students and their families with peace of mind and practical assistance during critical moments. Taking the time to establish these essential documents can offer reassurance and support throughout the college years and beyond.

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