If you have a child starting college this fall, your days are filled with excitement, checklists and planning. You’ve probably already purchased or planned most of what your child will need to succeed in the year ahead.
One item that savvy parents know they must add to their teen’s college checklist is a Young Adult Power of Attorney form.
However, concern over how long it takes or how complicated it might be often stops parents from completing what is a much easier, and more important, ‘to-do’ item than many realize.
Here, we show you how easy it is to create a POA for your college student by answering three of the most common questions we receive from parents, just like you, investigating a power of attorney form for a child.
1. How long does it take to create a young adult power of attorney form?
The answer to this question is short and sweet. It takes 15 minutes to create a POA form for your college student through Mama Bear Legal Forms; maybe 10 minutes, if you type fast and have the necessary documents handy.
If you go to an attorney, they can create one for you, likely within a few days to a week, but you will pay attorney fees for that convenience. Mama Bear Legal Forms lets you create the same thing yourself, from the comfort of your home or office, in 15 minutes or less.
2. How do I create a power of attorney form?
Mama Bear Legal Forms offers affordable power of attorney (POA) templates and healthcare POA forms you can customize for your children and state(s) of residence. Our Young Adult Power of Attorney Package includes all three documents your college child needs for only $79 – a significantly lower price than the average attorney fee for preparing such documents.
While a quick internet search for free power of attorney forms online may return many results, most online free forms vary in quality and usability. Or worse, they aren’t truly free. Some State websites offer samples, but few offer guidance explaining how to fill them out.
Attorneys do not usually work from sample forms provided by states. Instead, they draft their own, which you will pay more for.
Mama Bear Legal Forms removes this hurdle by offering a package of law firm quality, state-specific documents that are easy to create, simple to download and incredibly affordable.
All three of the forms we offer in our Young Adult Package are state-specific and include guidance on how to complete them. In fact, our online guide walks you through the process, step by step, so that you can complete the forms with the necessary information in just ten to 15 minutes.
That’s less time than a Target run for that dorm room item you just remembered your college student needs.
3. Why do I need a young adult power of attorney form?
This is perhaps the most important question of all. And, if you’re asking it, you’re in good company. It’s where many parents start.
A power of attorney form is one of the documents you need when a child turns 18. The other two forms are documents Mama Legal Bear Forms also provides – a healthcare power of attorney form and a HIPAA authorization form.
Everyone assumes that because they’re married or a parent, they can automatically handle decisions for their college students. However, that’s not necessarily true. When a child turns 18 health care and financial information becomes private and parents no longer have the right to make medical or financial decisions for their children.
Without a power of attorney form and healthcare power of attorney form in place, parents are not authorized to help adult children manage their financial, legal or healthcare decisions.
By age 18, HIPAA privacy laws pull the curtain fully closed and doctors, banks and insurance companies will no longer communicate with a parent about their young adult’s account or health condition.
Specific laws vary by state, so the situation can become more convoluted when a child attends college out of state. The most common reasons a parent may need to help an adult child make medical or financial decisions are maturity and incapacity.
2 Reasons for a Power of Attorney Form – Maturity and Incapacity
Many people aren’t ready at age 18 to take on all the responsibilities of adulthood. Events rise that are beyond their experience to handle. College students may inadvertently land themselves in credit card debt and need help from parents to make the financial moves necessary to climb out.
Sadly, accidents can happen at any time that cause an adult child to become incapacitated. Someone who normally makes wise, level-headed decisions may become impaired temporarily by an illness or accident and need assistance making medical and financial decisions.
Every adult should have a durable power of attorney for health care and the same for financial decisions because these forms designate who is authorized to handle medical and financial decisions in an emergency.
Without these forms, a court may need to appoint a guardian or conservator. The process can be complex, time-consuming and expensive. Power of attorney forms eliminate this concern.
Keep in mind that Young Adult POA forms are very different from HIPAA privacy forms that you may have already filled out at your child’s doctors’ offices.
HIPAA forms typically provide release of health information for a particular office or hospital system only. They provide parents no rights to a child’s personal health information anywhere else.
Additionally, they provide no help if a child becomes incapacitated and cannot sign a HIPAA release at the time they need care. Both a healthcare power of attorney form and universal HIPAA release should be prepared ahead of time.
Signing POA forms – where to get your documents notarized
After you create your POA forms, you’ll need to sign them in the presence of a notary. It takes about the same amount of time as it does to create your POA – 15 minutes. Read our post on why you need a notary for the full background on why it’s important to have your legal documents notarized, but for now, here are our recommendations on the best place to find one fast.
The National Notary Association recommends these common places to locate a notary public to assist in signing your legal documents:
- Businesses, including: banks, credit unions, tax or CPA offices, parcel shipping stores, and real estate offices.
- Local AAA offices.
- Government offices, including: town hall, city hall, county courthouse, and public library.
- Attorney offices.
- Business offices at colleges and universities (for college students).
- Online searches at sites like 123notary.com and Notarize.com.
In all of these cases, you will want to call, email or chat ahead of time to verify that a notary is there, when they are available and find out exactly what is required to have your will or other legal document, such as a power of attorney or young adult power of attorney, signed.
In the case of attorney offices, many are hesitant if not unwilling to notarize legal documents that have not been prepared by their offices.
While you may have to travel to a notary, this is not always the case. Some notaries will come to you. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to hire a remote Notary Public to notarize your will online.
According to the National Notary Association, there are 24 states whose notaries may perform remote notarizations temporarily.
Since these are temporary allowances, it’s best to check with your State’s Secretary of State Department website to find out if your state is allowing documents to be notarized online or remotely, and if so, which documents are approved for online notarization.
Once you find a notary, contact them directly to make certain they are willing and able to notarize your POA form. Let them know exactly what documents you plan to sign in their presence, who will be signing the documents besides yourself, and whether or not you have witnesses available.
Be sure to ask what fees the notary charges and what forms of payment are accepted. Then, schedule an appointment with the notary for you and your witnesses to meet and sign your will or other document.
Get Your POA Package Now
Do you have 15 minutes now to get your Young Adult POA Package? Click the link below to get law firm quality, state-specific documents that are easy to create, simple to download and incredibly affordable.
All three of the forms we offer in our Young Adult Package are legally valid in all states and include guidance on how to complete them.
2 thoughts on “How to Create a Power of Attorney Form for Your College Student in 15 Minutes or Less”
I have 18 year old twins with special needs and while I await guardianship may I use these forms in the interim?
Darlene, generally, if you have guardianship or are in the process of establishing a guardianship for your children, they would not sign power of attorney documents. If there is an emergency, and your guardianship has not been completed, you might be able to ask the court for a temporary emergency guardianship to get by until the permanent guardianship is established. I hope this helps.