Do you have a high school or college student? Are you prepared for the unexpected? Will you be able to help your college student in a medical emergency?
When your child reaches the age of 18, even though you may still think of them as children, they have now achieved adult status under the law:
Estate Planning Documents
Most parents know — in theory, at least — that their children are no longer children when they turn 18. But the full significance may not be apparent until something happens that drives that reality home. The following forms will help facilitate the involvement of a parent or other trusted adult in a medical emergency:
If a student attends college out of state, fill out the forms relevant to the home state and school state to avoid any challenges. Once the forms are completed, it’s a good idea to scan and save them so they're readily available on a smartphone or home computer.
All students have the right to sign a waiver — and in most colleges it is as easy as clicking on a page on the school website — permitting parents access to their school records. It’s hard to balance when to allow your student the time and space necessary to adjust and when to check on their grade progress and behavioral changes to ensure everything is under control (and to make sure they know you’re not trying to be controlling—you just want them to be safe). Access to this information can be important since suicide is the second leading cause of death, after accidents, for college-age adults in the United States. One in five college students reported that they were so stressed that they considered suicide (reported by the journal Depression and Anxiety).
What happens if your student has an emergency while out of the country? The following is a list of other items that you may want to address before you send them on that spring break trip to Mexico:
What to Do Now
Having a conversation with your child about their rights and responsibilities when they turn 18 is a good first step. For example, all males with United States citizenship must register for the selective service upon reaching the age of 18. Although not required, this is a great time for your kids to register to vote.
Have faith and pray. Never underestimate the power of prayer. Practice gratitude. Each day is a gift. Be grateful for each and every day you have with them. As I get ready to send my senior in high school to college next year, this seems like the very best advice!
by JoAnne Wallace McIntosh. JoAnne is a longtime Covenant Presbyterian member. She is an attorney and CPA who practices with Eccles & McIntosh, PC.