Financial Planning

Sheets, Desk Lamp… Power of Attorney?

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The list of things to do with and for your college bound child is extensive. We believe it should include a signed Durable Power of Attorney for health care and property. Here’s why:

At age 18 your child is an adult. Students’ education and health records belong strictly to them.

Privacy laws in most states (i.e., HIPPA, FERPA) prevent you from having access to medical information, bank and investment accounts, or student loans and grades, even if you are paying part or all of your child’s tuition. The following forms are not included in college registration packets but should be seriously considered.

Power of attorney for health care:
If for any reason your child is injured, becomes seriously ill or is hospitalized, being given power of attorney will allow you to make medical decisions if he or she is unable to do so. It also helps to easily transfer information and copies of lab tests to doctors at home, maintaining accurate records.

Power of attorney for property:
With this, you can access bank and investment accounts, pay bills, sign tax returns, or potentially, adjust financial aid packages.

Giving explicit permission through power of attorney does not mean students have no say in what information may be shared:

  • The FERPA (Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act) waiver: this allows students to designate what types of information they want given to parents. For example, tuition statement but not grades.
  • HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) release: in some states these forms allowing you to be part of conversations related to your student’s health are included in a medical POA, but not all. If the state where the college is located does not include HIPPA language in the medical POA, a separate release form may be necessary.

The financial planning team at Bahl & Gaynor is here to explain Power of Attorney and guide you and your college student regarding best practices as a new year begins. Just give us a call at 513-287-6100.

Planning is important to your overall financial success. Bahl & Gaynor is here to answer any questions you may have. Our financial planners stand ready to discuss customized strategies to grow and use your assets as your needs and situation demand. You can reach us at or by calling 513-287-6100.

The Bahl & Gaynor Team

Investment advisory services provided through Bahl & Gaynor (“B&G”), a federally registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Registration does not imply Information or a certain level of skill or training. More information about B&G can be found by visiting and searching by the adviser’s name. This is prepared for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to your particular situation or need(s). It does not address specific investment objectives. Information in these materials are from sources B&G deems reliable, however we do not attest to their accuracy. No fiduciary relationship exists because of this commentary. Bahl & Gaynor does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.