Podcast #78: Costly Legal Missteps, Podcasts

EP#78: Costly Legal Missteps to Avoid When Sending Children Off to College.

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

Podcast Interview with Matt Hallett and Janet Maltbie


In this episode of the No Loan Zone podcast, host, Janet Maltbie explores the legal missteps that parents often encounter when sending their kids off to college, and the importance of having the right legal documents in place. She is joined by guest Matt Hallett, an attorney specializing in family protection planning, trusts, probate, and wealth preservation.


“Even though their parent may be financially providing for them to go to college, the child has legal rights that may supersede the rights of their parent.”
— Matt Hallett [00:01:39 → 00:02:14]

“Unless your child elects with the university to give you access to their financial information at the school, through the school’s bursar, you don’t have access to it because that is their financial information – that’s even if you are a co signer on a loan. You cannot communicate directly with the bursar because you are not the student and they’re an adult. And that is their financial information. There are laws that protect them.”
— Matt Hallett [00:02:17 → 00:02:53]

“Generally speaking, most colleges will provide some type of mechanism to allow you to get that access, because the colleges do know that it’s important that parents are involved.”
— Matt Hallett [00:03:01 → 00:03:28]

“Being able to participate, not control, but participate in their college experience is necessary. Therefore, it is not unwise to be able to connect financially your accounts with your child, because you may need, or they may need you to financially be able to connect to them.”
— Matt Hallett [00:05:53 → 00:07:14]

3 key takeaways:

1️⃣ Legal documents are crucial: Many college students may not realize the importance of allowing their parents access to their college information. However, there are legal documents, such as financial power of attorney, HIPAA authorizations, and healthcare power of attorney that grant parents the necessary authority to access and assist with financial and medical matters, ensuring peace of mind for both parties.

2️⃣ Communication and trust: It’s crucial for parents and students to have open conversations and establish trust before college. Building this foundation can help avoid potential problems and navigate issues that may arise throughout the college experience. Parents who provide financial support often want to have access to certain information so that they can assist if an unfortunate event arises but students must work with the college to grant this permission. 

3️⃣ Seek professional advice: Planning ahead and meeting with an attorney specializing in family law is highly recommended. They can guide parents and students in understanding their legal rights, addressing potential issues, and ensuring that the right legal documents are in place to protect everyone involved.

Connect with Matt Hallett

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