Carney Dye LLC


Carney Dye LLC is a law firm providing legal services for individuals and small businesses located in Birmingham, Alabama and the surrounding communities. The firm will handle personal and business legal matters with a focus on estate planning, probate administration and business planning. The firm’s primary goal is to provide a comfortable and friendly atmosphere for individuals and businesses to seek important legal advice.

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Does Your College Freshman Have Everything They Needs for School?

School has started again, and many people have children who have started college this year. For most of those children, this will be the first time that they have moved away from home, many a great distance from their parents.  In preparation for the move to school most parents and their children make a comprehensive list of things to do or purchase before the child moves away.

I would suggest that on that list of things to complete, should be to put some simple estate planning documents in place for your child. In Alabama, once your child is nineteen (eighteen in most other states) he or she is considered an adult, and thus parents are no longer entitled to make medical or financial decisions on their behalf.

Therefore, I would recommend having your child execute both a Durable Power of Attorney and an Advance Health Care Directive.  The power of attorney comes in very handy when an issue arises and a parent needs to obtain financial or other protected information on a child’s behalf while they are away. For example, a parent might need to speak with an insurance company regarding a claim, or replace a lost debit card. If you are appointed as their agent in a Durable Power of Attorney, you can speak directly with that insurance company or bank on your child’s behalf, thereby alleviating any potential delays.

The Advance Health Care Directive would allow you be appointed as your child’s health care proxy. This means that, in the event they were injured while away at college and were unable to make decisions for themselves, you would be designated as someone who is able to make health care decisions for them. I would recommend sending a copy of this directive to your child’s physician to keep in their record. In addition, I would recommend executing a HIPAA release so that you might be able to receive any necessary medical records on your child’s behalf.

You may also consider having your child execute a simple Will. Having that Will in place would help ensure that in the event something unexpected were to happen, that you would be able to serve as the Personal Representative (executor) without having to post a bond or file an inventory with the Probate Court.

Doing just these few things should help to give you peace of mind, and help protect your child in the event something unexpected was to happen. So, the question remains, does your college freshman have everything they need for school?

By Shannon Dye
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