As a parent of a child who is going to college, there are several legal things you should consider doing to ensure their safety and protect their legal rights. Here are some of the most important steps you can take:
Sign a FERPA release: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Signing a FERPA release will allow you to access your child's academic records and other related information.
Create a healthcare power of attorney: Once your child turns 18, they are legally considered an adult and you will no longer have access to their healthcare information or decision-making abilities. Creating a healthcare power of attorney will allow you to make medical decisions on your child's behalf if they are unable to do so themselves.
Review your insurance coverage: Make sure your child is covered under your health insurance plan and consider purchasing additional insurance if necessary. Also, make sure their belongings are covered under your homeowners or renters insurance policy if they will be living in off-campus housing.
Create a durable power of attorney: A durable power of attorney gives you legal authority to handle your child's financial affairs if they are unable to do so themselves.
Review your estate plan: If you have a will or other estate planning documents, you may need to update them to reflect your child's new status as a legal adult.
Discuss legal responsibilities: Talk to your child about their legal responsibilities as an adult, including the consequences of breaking the law, signing contracts, and engaging in risky behavior.
Overall, it's important to stay involved in your child's life as they transition to college, while also respecting their newfound independence and legal status as an adult.