UPCOMING EVENTS

SEMINARS FOR SEPTEMBER 2017

MONROEVILLE
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
2:00PM
The Estate Planning Centers
3824 Northern Pike, Suite 801B
One Monroeville Center
Monroeville, PA 15146
Just west of Red Lobster on Rt. 22

MURRYSVLLE / DELMONT
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
7:00 PM
Holiday Inn Express
Delmont/Murrysville
6552 Route 22
Delmont, PA 15626
Behind Lamplighter Restaurant on Rt. 22

MURRYSVLLE / DELMONT
Thursday, September 14, 2017
2:00 PM
Holiday Inn Express
Delmont/Murrysville
6552 Route 22
Delmont, PA 15626
Behind Lamplighter Restaurant on Rt. 22

MONROEVILLE
Thursday, September 14, 2017
7:00 PM
The Estate Planning Centers
3824 Northern Pike, Suite 801B
One Monroeville Center
Monroeville, PA 15146
Just west of Red Lobster on Rt. 22

MONROEVILLE
Saturday, September 16, 2017
9:30 AM
The Estate Planning Centers
3824 Northern Pike, Suite 801B
One Monroeville Center
Monroeville, PA 15146
Just west of Red Lobster on Rt. 22

 
 

 
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Proudly serving clients throughout Allegheny, Westmoreland, Butler, Fayette, and Washington Counties; including Pittsburgh, Monroeville, Greensburg, Latrobe, Cranberry, Wexford, Sewickley and YOUR community.

Keeping Parents Out Of The Dark About Their College Students

Parents who have spent years raising, nurturing and preparing their children to go off to college often overlook important issues in the rush to finally get their child ready for school in August.  One overlooked feature is preparation of emergency documents which will permit a parent to be informed about their child’s medical condition, oversee their child’s medical care and manage their finances in the event of an emergency.  Otherwise, federal privacy and banking laws prevent or delay a parent’s ability to help their child during times of crisis.
 
Most students who head out to college have turned 18, or will soon. As a result, they are now considered legally adults, with independent authority over their affairs. This is true even as parents continue to provide tuition payments, health care coverage, room and board, transportation and more.  Once your children are legal adults, you no longer have the same level of automatic control over their personal and financial affairs.  In fact, parents have very few rights upon their children turning 18.  
 
As a parent, you worry about what happens if your child suffers an accident or serious injury while away at school. Now that they are over 18, you may no longer get to assist in overseeing their care.  If you or the student needs access to their financial accounts, the bank can’t let you do so unless you have Power of Attorney, are a joint owner, or you pursue the expense of guardianship.  Even your child’s medical condition and care can be withheld from you under the federal HIPAA statute, which often concerns parents the most.
 
HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, passed by Congress to protect the use and disclosure of individually identifiable health information (often referred to as Protected Health Information).  Without written authorization, a medical facility is severely limited in the information it can disclose about a patient to anyone, even a parent.  While a medical care provider can exercise some discretion in the absence of a signed HIPAA authorization for disclosure, oftentimes the medical institution is going to err on the side of withholding information in order to avoid a possible HIPAA violation which could expose it to sanctions and/or liability.  Even beyond disclosure, who is the decision maker if the student is unconscious or delirious? 
 
Most parents and students want their physicians to be able to communicate with the parents if the student is ill or injured, and want the parents to be able to manage the student’s medical and financial affairs at such times as well.  A basic legal package for college students should include a HIPAA release, a Health Care Power of Attorney to authorize medical decisions, and a General Power of Attorney to permit management of the student’s financial and other affairs. For a few hundred dollars at most, a parent can cover these bases for the student with plan documents which will take them all the way through college, and beyond if necessary.