College Send Off: Stay Informed and Protected

July 13, 2021

Summer feels like it just started, and back-to-school is already around the corner. Whether you are dropping off your fifth child for the first time at college – or your first child for the fifth time – you’re ready for this. You made good decisions along the way and tackled a lot:

  • Filled out your FAFSA? Check.
  • Utilized a 529 plan? Check.
  • Shared the Netflix password? Check.
  • Got permission to see their grades? …

Your son or daughter will still be claimed as a dependent. Submit your information on their FAFSA. Spend the money you put into a 529 plan and get coverage from your health insurance. It seems a bit unfair that the college or university can’t simply send you a report card – even if you try asking nicely.

Your college student is now an adult, legally speaking. Once they turn 18, the school cannot provide, share, or discuss information without the student’s consent. There is nothing they can do for you.

Here’s the thing, neither can doctors.

In the event of an accident, mental health concern, or any other emergency, no medical professional will be able to discuss your child’s condition without a document that says otherwise.

Power of Attorney

We always suggest our clients talk to their children about executing Power of Attorney forms. There is a Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Power of Attorney for Property. When named as the ‘agent’ in these legal documents, your child gives you the ability to be provided information, make decisions, and act on their behalf if they are unable to themselves.

Obtain an annual credit report for your child / freezing their credit

This can be done in just a few minutes, at absolutely no cost.  Gaining access to the identity of a child is considered to be the holy grail for identity thieves, as they often can go years without anyone realizing there is something amiss.   If you know there is no reason your child will need to obtain a line of credit in the next 12 months, then taking the extra step to freeze their credit is a very wise choice to prevent fraudulent financial activity.

Accidents happen. Fraud occurs. Check off these final two items, and all you have to worry about is the moving truck and Advil for a sore back after a day of moving them in.

At BDF, your team is dedicated to helping every member of the family make sound decisions to enjoy every stage of a full life.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.