Parents of college students know how stressful it can be to have a child away at school. Whether it’s the beginning of their university adventure or they are seasoned under-grads, it’s never too late for you to help your child with their financial and medical needs, as long as they ask for your assistance and parental consent. It may be time to start looking into a Durable Power of Attorney.

A Durable Power of Attorney isn’t as complicated as it may sound. It can let your child give you control over certain areas of their life so you can make certain legal decisions on their behalf. As long as you all agree and sign the proper documents, a Durable Power of Attorney can potentially avoid lots of issues as your child navigates college with your help.

Parents and college student learning about a Power of AttorneyWhat is Power of Attorney (POA)?

Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone to act on behalf of someone else. So if you and your adult child sign a Power of Attorney, your child (the principal) will be handing you control of certain parts of their life—making you the agent. Many people create Powers of Attorney to receive help with finances, medical decisions, and other important legal matters.

Below, we’ve listed the various kinds of Powers of Attorney that you may need to consider:

Main types of Power of Attorney

  • Healthcare Power of Attorney allows the agent to make health and medical care decisions.
  • Financial Power of Attorney allows the agent to make financial decisions.
  • Durable Power of Attorney remains in effect if the principal becomes incapacitated. It can be used to let the agent manage all the principal’s affairs.
  • Non-Durable Power of Attorney is normally set for a period of time and only for a specific transaction.
  • Special or Limited Power of Attorney is typically used for one-time financial transactions.
  • Springing Power of Attorney becomes effective if the principal become incapacitated or is no longer able to make decisions.
  • An Immediate Power of Attorney grants the power to the agent immediately upon execution of the document.

Check out this article for more detail about the different types of Power of Attorney.

What is Durable Power of Attorney for young adults?

A Durable Power of Attorney for college students gives you the ability to assist, even from a distance. Your child may be an adult, but they might still need your help once in a while. The fact that they are 18 or older doesn’t mean they will never face legal problems. You can help when you have a Power of Attorney in place. You can help handle important legal issues on your child’s behalf, easing their burden and ensuring that the matters are dealt with appropriately.

Why does a college student need a Durable Power of Attorney?

For your eligible dependent who is a college student, the types of Durable Power of Attorney that they may need are Financial and Medical Powers of Attorney.

  • Remember when you were first learning about financial matters on your own? It can be overwhelming! Issues such as paying bills on time, managing accounts, filing taxes by the deadline, and submitting tuition money can be complicated for your child to handle on top of all their other college duties. A Durable Power of Attorney can give you the chance to help when needed.
  • While we all hope that our children will stay safe in college, medical emergencies often arise when least expected. A Durable Power of Attorney can let you access your child’s medical records if needed, bypassing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) so you can help your loved one.

Medical Power of Attorney review by college coed and her parents while sitting at a home table.What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

Let’s dive into the Medical Power of Attorney with a little more detail.

Sometimes called a Health Care Power of Attorney, this legal document gives you as the parent authority to make tough choices about your child’s medical care. If your child is incapacitated by an illness or injury, you will be able to make decisions about treatment plans, operations and medicines, and even end-of-life care if absolutely necessary. As the agent in this agreement, you will be called the Health Care Agent or the proxy.

You and your child may choose to sign a durable Medical Power of Attorney. With a Durable POA, you will only act on behalf of your child until your child regains the ability to make decisions for themselves. Until your child is able to do that, you will be their healthcare agent. Make sure you and your child clarify that the Medical POA is durable when creating the document.

What is a Medical Power of Attorney form for children?

If your child is heading off to camp or college before they turn 18, you may need to get a Medical Power of Attorney for a trusted guardian who can keep an eye over your minor child’s healthcare needs. Any mentally capable adult whom you trust can act as a healthcare agent for your child. Just make sure everyone signs the proper forms and understands the requirements involved.

When signing the form, you will need to provide your personal info such as your name, phone number and address. You will also need to include the personal information of the Health Care Agent who has been selected. Make sure you provide your child’s information. You’ll also need to establish the date when this POA comes into effect, and when it will end (if applicable).

How can LegalShield help with a Durable Power of Attorney?

It’s a big responsibility for both you and your covered dependent child to create a Durable Power of Attorney. It’s critical that you choose thoughtfully and wisely. Laws can vary from state to state, making small legal loopholes in legal documents unenforceable sometimes. The last thing you want is to have a bank or medical institution refuse to honor your Power of Attorney when you need it most.

To make sure your Durable Power of Attorney is legally binding, as a LegalShield family plan member, work with your provider law firm who knows all about the laws in your state and the state your child may be relocating to. Doing it right provides peace of mind for everyone involved.

LegalShield puts the power of access to legal justice within your family’s reach. We work hard to make a Durable Power of Attorney easy, simple and affordable so you can get the access to legal consultation.

Explore our personal and family legal plan to see how you can help protect your family in the face of personal legal questions.


Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (“PPLSI”) provides access to legal services offered by a network of provider law firms to PPLSI members through membership-based participation. Neither PPLSI nor its officers, employees or sales associates directly or indirectly provide legal services, representation, or advice. The information available in this blog is meant to provide general information and is not intended to provide legal advice, render an opinion, or provide any specific recommendations. The blog post is not a substitute for competent legal counsel from a licensed professional lawyer in the state or province where your legal issues exist, and the reader is strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel for your specific legal matter. Information contained in the blog may be provided by authors who could be a third-party paid contributor. All information by authors is accepted in good faith, however, PPLSI makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability, or completeness of such information.