Hegwood Law - August 2019



HEGWOODLAW.COM • 281.218.0880



Are You Ready for the School Year to Start?

B elieve it or not, we are almost ready for the first day of school again. Even though it seems like summer barely started, it is time for parents and grandparents to start helping their young ones get prepared for the upcoming academic year. While the vast majority of students dread the transition from summer vacation to the classroom, I always looked forward to entering a new grade every year. Because I am a natural left-brain thinker, math was always my strongest and favorite subject. Even now, I can remember numerical information about people long before I can memorize their names — not for lack of effort, of course; it is just how my brain organizes information.

area I enjoyed. I ended up graduating with a degree in computer programming and systems analysis. Along with my degree, I also graduated with three kids. Because my youngest daughter was 2 months old at the time, I decided to postpone law school until she was older, so, in the meantime, I earned my second degree in legal studies. While I have been out of school for a while now, I have come to realize that people never stop learning. To that end, one of the most important lessons I learned when my own kids headed off to college was just how necessary it is to establish their power of attorney before their first day of school. As parents, we take all precautionary measures to ensure our young adults stay protected when they venture out of our homes and into continuing education, and, while completing a legal document may seem like a strange way to protect them, it is the only way you have access to vital school information while they are away. Here is what happened to me. At the time my daughter headed off to University of Texas, I was litigating, so I was not paying close attention to our estate plan. I realized I needed some information about my daughter's tuition and housing costs, so I called the Office of the Registrar and gave the school employee my daughter’s information. The lady on the phone politely informed me I would have to ask my daughter, and the university cannot give out information about

individual students, even to their parents.

This does not just happen in Texas, either. It is a nationwide law. Mind you, I was very frustrated. Here I was, sending checks to pay for my daughter’s education, and her school refused to tell me anything about her account there. I realized quickly that in order to have access to the account information I needed, my daughter had to legally establish me as her power of attorney. Doing so is helpful for many other reasons, too. For example, if your child experiences trouble with a rental agreement, or a credit card, or gets injured or falls ill, as your child’s power of attorney, you can legally help and protect them. So, as you start buying furniture, books, and cooking supplies to prepare your kid for college, do not forget to add this small legal task to your checklist. Then give our office a call, so we can walk you through the process as quickly as possible!

"Here I was, sending checks to pay for my daughter’s education, and her school refused to tell me anything about her account there."

My passion for school (and life’s timing) actually led to two bachelor’s degrees. While I always knew I wanted to go to law school, I had to earn a four-year college degree before heading there. My mom suggested I pursue a subject that interested me rather than a strictly law-related one. That way, if I decided later that I didn't want to go to law school, I would still have a degree in an

-Kim Hegwood



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