Your Kids, College, and the Coronavirus: What You Need to Know

by | Family Law
Student wearing a mask walking in a campus

Many parents with college-aged kids are wondering what happens if their son or daughter gets sick while away at college. What if they contract the flu or the Coronavirus?

Although they will always be your children, the reality is that once your kids turn 18 they are legally adults and have the same rights of privacy regarding medical information as you do. To put it another way, if you son or daughter gets sick while away at college, you are not entitled to know anything about their condition other than what they tell you themselves. (Some schools notify parents if hospitalization is required, however.) For parents who have always scheduled and driven their children to their medical, dental, and orthodontic appointments, this is a disconcerting feeling.

The solution is a health care power of attorney for your college-aged children. While often associated with planning for elderly people, the truth is that everyone age 18 and older should have their own health care power of attorney. With a properly executed health care power of attorney, you will be able to get the same information about your children’s medical situation as they have access to themselves.

In these uncertain times, when colleges are modifying their environments to include social distancing in classrooms, the closing of dining halls, the thinning out of dormitories, and other measures necessary to protect students and staff, almost every college is also adding medical personnel and establishing procedures in case students contract the Coronavirus. As a parent, it is important to think ahead and execute proper planning before your child leaves for college. If you wait until you need it, you’ve waited too long.

We can help you plan for this. Call us now for a consultation.