News & Insight


It’s that time of year again . . . last-minute family get-togethers, vacations, and the sound of preseason football!  It is also the time for freshman college students to begin their exciting college careers and returning college students to begin another (or even last) college year.

Their college “tool kit” should include the following:  an advance directive (including a health care power of attorney) and a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) consent form.

Many college students returning to school have reached the age of eighteen.  Legally, they are adults and have the legal right to make decisions about their health care and their education (unless the child has a disability and has been legally determined to be incompetent to make those decisions).  Your child will be the one that the physicians will communicate with regarding their health care and the college will communicate and disclose his or her educational record to.  Why?  Federal and state privacy laws prohibit disclosing this information with anyone other than your adult child unless the adult child has given permission.

Advance Directive (Including Health Care Power of Attorney)

An advance directive, including a health care power of attorney, is a legal document that allows you to name a person to act on your behalf to make health care decisions, including life-sustaining measures, when you are unable to communicate those wishes yourself.

FERPA Consent Form

A FERPA consent form permits an adult other than the adult student to inspect and review their educational record, seek to amend their education record, and have some control over the disclosure of information from their educational record.  Examples of what may be found in your child’s educational record includes, but is not limited to, grade information, financial aid data, and billing information.

Bowie & Jensen, LLC is here to assist your child in preparing for the return to college.  To discuss these two important documents along with other estate planning needs, contact Victoria Sulerzyski at or at (410) 583-2400.