A Power of Attorney for Child is a legal document that a parent uses in order to authorize another adult (known as the attorney-in-fact or agent) to act in their place on behalf of the child. This permission slip per say tells others such as teachers or doctors that when a parent’s signature is needed on a document, that this other adult has the authority to sign in place of the parent themselves. By signing this type of legal document, the parent doesn’t give up any parental right. With a Power of Attorney, the parent shares the right to make decisions with a designated adult. This allows you to give these rights to someone that you trust has the ability to make important decisions regarding your child in your absence. It’s important a lawyer is used to draft this document as it is required to follow all local state laws.
When it is Used
A power of attorney is used when you want one in the event you become unexpectedly unavailable or if you are leaving your children in someone else’s care for a long period of time. They are often used when a child is living in a separate home from their parents or an adult other than the person’s parent is the child’s main caregiver. Some situations where a power of attorney for a child is needed are for a long term illness or for a deployment.
This temporary assignment of guardian rights gives one to make legal authority of medical, health and other decisions regarding the child. A Power of Attorney for a Child is intended for a six month period or less. In the case of a deployment, federal law allows the power of attorney for a deployed military employee to last until they return.
Types of Decisions it Encompasses
A power of attorney for a child allows an agent to enroll children in school or activities, have access to all of their student records and make decisions regarding the child’s education. It also allows them to obtain any health records and also make decisions regarding said child’s health. The agent must provide the child with food, housing, etc.
Signing a Power of Attorney
This legal document must be signed by a parent in the presence of a Notary. The caregiver will keep the original Power of Attorney document as proof of their authority to make decisions on behalf of the parent for the specific child. When a parent has given Power of Attorney rights to a primary caregiver, that caregiver should also the child’s birth certificate and insurance card on hand.
Things to Know About Power of Attorneys
This legal document doesn’t give someone long-term guardianship. This is to be disclosed in one’s last will and testament. Consult with an estate planning attorney to arrange this type of legal document. The person creating the power of attorney can choose which specific decisions that they delegate to the parent. In some states, there are some rights a parent cannot delegate to an agent such as consent to adoption, selling or gifting the minor’s property or marriage.
The power of attorney document can be revoked at any time. This typically requires that the parent notifies the agent in writing they are relinquishing their parental rights back.
Information Needed in Order to Create a Power of Attorney for Child
- The names, addresses and phone numbers of the parents or guardians signing the power of attorney for child
- Name and date of birth for each child being covered in the document
- Names and addresses of the appointed agent(s)
- Date when agent’s authority begins.
- Parent’s contact information where can be reached during duration of agreement (address, phone numbers and/or email address)