Four Documents Young Adults Shouldn't Leave Home Without

Four Documents Young Adults Should Take to College

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Turning 18 years old comes with new privileges, responsibilities, and privacies. Among them are managing finances, education, and healthcare needs. In other words, Adulting.

In the eyes of school administrators and healthcare providers, your child has become an adult. This means that your young adult needs to provide permission for you to access their school and medical records.

There are forms for that.

In addition to this newly-granted agency over their private information, young adults also should put safeguards in place in the event that something happens to them and they need medical treatment or financial assistance but are not able to consent.

There are forms for that, too.

Here are the Four Documents Young Adults Shouldn’t Leave Home Without:

Healthcare proxy:

This document springs into effect when the person is incapable of making medical decisions for themselves. The “proxy” steps into their shoes and makes medical decisions for them. These decisions can always be overridden by the patient. More information about healthcare proxies is here.

HIPAA release:

HIPAA protects the privacy of your medical information. A HIPAA release provides permission for a third party (that includes you, parent!) to access a young adult’s medical records. HIPAA releases typically expire after a few years, or medical recordkeepers may not accept them after a few years.

Power of Attorney:

If your child is out of the country or in the hospital, who will take care of her financial obligations while she is unable to do so? A Power of Attorney designation allows the person with the Power (called the “attorney”) to step into the young adult’s shoes and manage their bank accounts.

FERPA Release: 

Parents may be surprised to find that their child’s school will not release school or bursar records to them without their child’s permission — even if the parent is paying the bills! This is because of FERPA (Federal Educational Records Privacy Act), which gives parents the right to access their child’s school records, until the child turns 18 or enrolls in an institution of higher education. The Department of Education provides a FERPA waiver form here.

If you would like assistance in getting all of these documents together and signed before you move out, contact us. We offer this service at the flat rate of $325 — including a consultation, filling out the forms for you, and signing the documents. 


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Rebecca Neale

Principal Attorney

As an attorney, Rebecca represents people in divorce, custody, and guardianship proceedings. She also advises people about end-of-life decisions and creates estate plans tailored to their needs and goals. Read more about Rebecca’s Experience here.
Bedford Family Law

Bedford, Massachusetts

Let's Work Together

When you reach out to Bedford Family Lawyer for a consultation, we will ask, “What is your goal?” We want to know how we can get you from where you are now to where you want to be, and we will show you the different paths to get there. 

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