Your child is finally off to college! But with all of the concerns about adjusting to a new life away from home, families often forget that once a child turns 18, he or she is considered an adult under the law. For example, once 18 years of age, hospitals and medical facilities may limit what information they can provide to the family without consent of the patient. The concern due to this requisite confidentiality is that parents or family members may not be able to make life decisions for their loved ones at crucial moments when the young adults (as patients) are unable to voice their wishes themselves. Hence, young adults can take advantage of caring parents or family members by assigning them to be his or her Medical Power of Attorney to make such vital decisions concerning their health.
The same holds true for scholastic information when children attend college. When students reach the age of 18, colleges and other higher learning institutions may not allow parents to inquire about or view their child's grades without the student's express consent; regardless of who may be paying the student's tuition. As such, the child's records are confidential even to their parents. Therefore, students may also consider making their parents their power of attorney so that they can monitor his or her performance and help guide the student through their education; besides merely paying for it.