The power of attorney for a minor child enables a parent to appoint another adult to make decisions for their child without forfeiting their custodial or parental rights. The power of attorney is brief and may be appointed by either a guardian or parent. The adult that receives the decision making authority is known as the attorney in fact, or agent. As an official legal paper, the power of attorney is required to fulfill state law in the way it’s written and signed.
Powers of attorney for minor children are typically effective only for a limited period, as determined by state law. The time period will vary by state. In Alaska, the paper is only effective for twelve months; in Utah, it is effective for six months. Federal law enables the power of attorney for the minor child(ren) of a deployed military member to remain upheld until they get back from their deployment.
When a parent establishes the power of attorney for their child, they don’t forfeit any of their parental rights. The parent is still able to make decisions for the child, retains custody and may withdraw the power of attorney at any point.
Power of attorney for a minor child are generally used by parents throughout a brief absence. Parents unavailable due to things such as schooling, vacation, deployment, illness or employment may use power of attorney to be obligated for their child(ren)’s care.
When devising a power of attorney, the parent chooses which choices to entrust to the agent. The parent may award certain authority, like school enrollment or medical treatments, or the parent can entrust general authority, enabling the agent decision making power the parent would typically have. In many states, there are rights that a parent isn’t allowed to entrust to an agent like permission to get married, permission to adopt, or gifting or selling the minor’s property. Since there is such a wide range of powers that can be awarded, the parent needs to be sure the legal document undoubtedly stipulates which powers they are entrusting.
The method for devising a valid power of attorney will vary from state to state. The parent usually must sign the document in a notary’s presence. The original document is handed to the agent as confirmation of their decision making power. Copies are offered to applicable health care providers or schools for their records when the agent uses it.
A parent may cancel the power of attorney at any time. They typically require the parent to notify the agent of the cancellation in writing and that the original and any copies be eradicated. The state might have added provisions for the cancellation of the document.
Temporary Power of Attorney for Minor Children
With a temporary power of attorney, the parent signs a Power of Attorney in a notary’s presence to give someone else temporary parental control of the child(ren). A Power of Attorney isn’t a court order. It can’t be used to enable someone else to consent to your child(ren)’s adoption or marriage. The Power of Attorney will expire after a six month period.
- Mroz, Kelly. “Power of Attorney for Minor Children.” LegalZoom Legal Info, 18 July 2016, info.legalzoom.com/power-attorney-minor-children-25727.html.
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