Sending your kids off to college, especially out of state, can be a stressful event as you try to let go off some control and give your kids the options to make good choices. While this is a necessary move overall, Joe Lyons has three tips on how you can save yourself some headaches (as well as possibly save some cash) by doing these three important things as a parent before school begins.

  1. Designate a Health Care Proxy/Durable Power of Attorney. As a parent, you are going to want to be able to have access to your child’s medical information in case of an emergency. Once they are 18, a hospital/doctor may only discuss the patient’s condition with the patient or the people named on those documents. If your child fails to designate an agent to act as their Attorney in Fact under a Durable Power of Attorney or as an Agent under a Health Care Proxy, the person who will make these personal decisions will be determined not by you, but by a Judge in the Probate Court.

  3. Get a signature from any of your children over 18 to access their bank account. Without a signed document, parents don’t have the authority to fully access their kids’ bank accounts once they turn 18—even if they are paying the tuition, still have those kids on their health insurance plans, and claim them as dependents on their tax returns. And even worse in your kids’ eyes is that, in some situations, if they are going to school out of state and did not grant you permission, you, as a parent, may not be able to deposit money into their account. And this could mean no spending money or a little emergency cushion if they get in a jam. Be prepared and ask your particular bank about their policies.

  5. See if your child can gain state residency (in-state tuition). State residency is the key factor used to judge eligibility for in-state tuition, and residency requirements vary significantly from state to state. The best thing to do is check the website of the college that you would like to attend for more information on requirements. It pays to check, because there are some creative ways you can save money. For example, in my state of Illinois, a lot of these students go to Mizzou. That’s because after living in Missouri for 12 months, earning at least $2,000 of taxable income during those 12 months, and only leaving the state for 14 days, the student can gain residency & in-state tuition.

It  makes sense to visit an investment advisor to examine your options, as there are many ways to saving money in regards to college if you know where to look. If you don’t have a financial advisor to help you with your situation, we can help. Visit to discover how working with a wealth management firm may help you work towards your financial goals.


Why do I need a Health Care Proxy or Durable Power of Attorney? Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro, P.C.

Qualifying for in-state tuition. 3, May. 2006.

This material was prepared by The Wisdom Link.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.