By Michelle Caceres

Preparing a child for college can be an exciting time, but a key component is oftentimes forgotten: getting a power of attorney for their student.

Valrico attorney Tom Gallo, partner at Gallo Farren Law, located at 3626 Erindale Dr., said parents need power of attorney for their children over 18 in order to be able to assist with their medical, educational and legal issues.

“Parents assume they have more rights to their student’s information than they really possess,” said Gallo, a lawyer with 38 years’ experience. “When a power of attorney is in place that line of communication is open and they can remain involved in making decisions when necessary.”

In addition to powers of attorney, Gallo also assists clients with wills, trusts, medical directives, probate administration, incorporations and limited liability companies, business acquisitions and real estate contracts.

According to Gallo, it is usually a life event such as the death of a parent that inspires people to put their own affairs in order.

“Life gets in the way of thinking about the future, but estate matters are far too important to postpone,” said Gallo.

Without a will, or with a bad one, a family could face a lengthy and expensive probate process.

“What gives me the most satisfaction is seeing the smile and look of relief on my clients’ faces when their documents are signed and they know important aspects of their lives are now in order,” said Gallo.

Gallo put a smile on River Hills resident and Real Estate Agent/Broker David Harbaugh’s face on several occasions. Gallo assisted him on numerous occasions with real estate probate sales for his business, his own personal will and estate planning and helped his father-in-law with his will.

“I trust him with my professional business, my personal business and my wife’s family’s business,” said Harbaugh. “He is one of the good guys in the legal field and he is a good man.”

Harbaugh said if he has a legal need that is not Gallo’s specialty, he still contacts him for a referral. Between Gallo and his partner Peter Farren, who is a family law attorney, they specialize in many aspects of the law. They both handle personal injury litigation.

For more information about Gallo Farren Law P.A. or to schedule a free consultation, visit www.gallofarrenlaw.com or call 661-5180.