Power of Attorney for Children

In a Power of Attorney for Children the parent appoints
another adult as agent or attorney-in-fact to act on the parent's behalf. This "substitute parent" can make day-to-day, as well as medical and educational decisions for the child.

The advantage is that there is no court supervision involved and you do not need to go to court, nor appoint an attorney to obtain this document.

Equally though, it also means that the appointed person must be absolutely trustworthy, since there is no authority supervising his or her decisions.



child drawing of house



Power of Attorney for Children - Table of Contents:


Duration and Termination of a Child / Minor Power of Attorney

Important Note: You need to confirm for how long you can have a POA valid. It could be anything from 6-12 months to not having a time limit. This depends on where you live.

If the time limit is 6 months and you need it for a longer period, then it is a simple matter to sign a new power of attorney.


But it is important to note that it always expires upon the death of the parent and cannot override a will!


It is then a function of a Last Will and Testament where a parent can appoint a legal guardian. If there is no will, then the State will appoint a guardian.

  • A POA will also terminate on the date stipulated in the document. As with all power of attorney for children forms, the parent can set a date upon which it will automatically end, or revoke it at any time prior to the expiry date. You can use our free revocation of a POA template.

    If you do revoke it before it expires, you need to notify your appointed agent in writing and also notify any other interested parties (e.g. the school) of the revocation.
  • It will expire upon incapacitation of the person who granted the POA. However, if you specify in writing in your document that this is a Durable Power of Attorney, then it will "endure" even if the person becomes incapacitated.

    An enduring power of attorney for children can only be revoked by a court IF there is proof submitted that the Agent is neglecting his duties and not acting in the best interest of the Minor.



When or Why Would You Need a Power Of Attorney for Children?

shadows of parent and two kids

A power of attorney for a child is especially useful in that institutions can rely on the document to:

  • Release school records to a guardian and allow the appointed agent to make educational decisions e.g. arrange extra tutoring if needed and also to authorize field trips and extra-curricular activities;

  • Perform medical and dental care for the child.


A power of attorney for children is also particularly useful when the parents will be absent for an extended period e.g.

  • A parent is in the military and deployed far away;
  • A parent is incarcerated or is in a medical facility for long-term treatment;
  • A parent is relocated for work purposes and does not want the child's location disrupted at that time.

Parents can make the power of attorney as broad or as restrictive as they want. We'll give you some sample wording to use.

Take a look at our notes after the Free Power of Attorney for a Child Form below to assist you with drafting your document.


Copyright Notice




Power of Attorney for a Child Form

I, the undersigned
Full legal names: ______________________________
SS / Identity Number: ___________________________
residing at _____________________________________________________
am the Natural Parent / Court Appointed Legal Guardian of the Minor
Named _______________________________________
born on the _____ day of _____________________20__

hereby authorize:

Full legal names: _______________________________
SS / Identity Number: ___________________________
residing at _____________________________________________________
as my Attorney-in-Fact (Agent) for the Minor named herein.

With the power of attorney, with the power of delegation and substitution, to perform all and any acts on my behalf which I have the power and capacity to perform, except for the following: _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________

If my Agent is unable to act on my behalf by reason of absence or by reason of mental incapacity (temporary or permanent), or bankruptcy or unable or unwilling to serve for any other reason, then I authorize:

Full legal names: _______________________________
SS / Identity Number: ___________________________
residing at _____________________________________________________
as substitute Agent with the same power of attorney.

This document serves to appoint my Agent to act in my stead and make decisions for the welfare of the person and property of the Minor as I would have done if I were present and could do so. It shall not be interpreted as a waiver nor a termination of my parental rights to, or responsibilities for the Minor and this appointment can be revoked at any time by me.

1. My Agent is specifically authorized to:

1a. Act on my behalf in all matters relating to the medical and health care of the Minor, where I am unable to do so. This authority includes permission to sign documents and/or forms as required by a medical facility, obtain medical records and consult with a duly licensed health care provider and make decisions to consent to or deny medical procedures, medication and medical treatment for the Minor.

1b. Act on my behalf in all matters relating to the education of the Minor. This authority includes permission to enroll the Minor in accredited educational institutions, obtain academic records and to authorize the Minor’s participation in school activities and excursions, extra mural activities and supplemental tutoring.

1c. Apply for and obtain any relief or grant or scholarship that the Minor may qualify for and benefit from.

1d. Accompany the Minor on domestic and international travel and to grant permission for other responsible adults to accompany the Minor.

2. I hereby revoke any and all previous powers of attorney signed by me.

3. This power of attorney shall become effective on the _____ day of ____________________20____
and shall expire on the _____ day of ___________________20____ or at an earlier date if revoked by me in writing.

4. I indemnify and hold harmless my Agent from any loss that results from an error in judgment that was made in good faith, save for willful misconduct or the failure to act in good faith under the authority of this power of attorney.

5. I authorize my Agent to indemnify any third party from any claims which may arise against the third party because of reliance on this power of attorney.

6. By signing below the Agent hereby confirms his/her acceptance of the Appointment and the attendant duties thereof, as prescribed under the law.

Agent's Signature: ________________________

Names:___________________________Date:__________________

Executed by the Parent / Legal Guardian this ______ day of _________________20 ____
at ______________________________________

Signature: ________________________________

in the presence of the undersigned witnesses:

Witness 1. Signature: ________________________

Names:__________________________Date:___________________

Witness 2. Signature: ________________________

Names:__________________________Date:___________________

Acknowledgement

This document was acknowledged before me on this
______day of ____________________20__
by ________________________(Principal's full legal names) who is personally known to me or who has provided identification in the form of _______________________________________

Signature of Notary Public ______________________

Full legal names ______________________________

My commission expires ________________________

State of ________________________

County of _______________________



***

NOTES:

In your document you must specify residential street addresses, not office or postal addresses.

Our template makes provision for a substitute Agent. You can delete that paragraph if you do not want to name an alternative person.







Alternative Clauses for your Power of Attorney for a Child

This is a general power of attorney which makes provision for any exceptions or limitations that you wish to add. You can list them or write Not Applicable.

Examples of limitations or exclusions for your Agent's power of attorney for the Minor:

  • Authorize elective surgery e.g. cosmetic surgery;
  • Authorize body piercings or permanent tattoos;
  • Sell, donate or gift any property of the Minor;
  • Relocate the Minor to another dwelling without prior written authorization of the Parent/Legal Guardian.

Or any other exclusions you may have from a religious or moral standpoint.


PLEASE NOTE: There are some decisions that an appointed agent cannot make such as:

This is because a power of attorney does not terminate the rights of a parent nor change the custody of the child.

You may also have wishes on how you would like the Agent to act on behalf of the Minor.


Should you Have a Power of Attorney for a Child Notarized?

Yes!

notary public notarizing document



Firstly, It adds more credence to the document. More importantly though, it may be a legal requirement in your jurisdiction.

Do not sign the document beforehand. All the pages must be initialed and full signatures done on the last page, in the presence of a Notary Public or Commissioner of Oaths. Take two printed copies along and initial and sign them both - one copy for yourself and the other copy for your appointed attorney-in-fact (Agent).

Generally speaking you do not need to file it in court except in some instances, such as when it involves real estate transactions on behalf of a child.


Power of Attorney for Children vs Guardianship

Guardianship of a child can be:

1. A temporary arrangement between the parents and another adult.

This is normally an informal agreement and you can look at our temporary guardianship form, which will give you a good understanding of how and when this can be used.

Temporary guardianship is a good solution for when a parent needs help in taking care of a child for a short-term period.

2. Permanent guardianship is a formal and legal process by which a court authorizes a person to act as a guardian for a child (the ward).

The guardian can make all health, educational and day-to-day decisions on behalf of the child.

However, there are some decisions for which court approval must be sought e.g. changing where the child lives, withholding life-saving treatment etc.

This is an important part about a formal guardianship order: The court is an active participant in overseeing reports that must be submitted from time to time by the guardian.


And as we've discussed on this page, you have a third option - making use of A Power of Attorney for Children - a legal document that can be executed without a court order and without active supervision by the court.









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