Minor Child Power of Attorney Forms
The Minor Child Power of Attorney Forms are legal instruments that make it possible for the parents or guardians of a minor child to elect another responsible adult to step in for them when they cannot guarantee the continual care of their child. Considering the often overwhelming demands of adult life—from work to personal commitments—it is common for parents and guardians at times to feel they neither have the time nor capacity to ensure the proper care and wellbeing of their child. This form provides a legally acceptable solution to this problem that ensures the needs of all parties are taken care of.
Minor Child Power of Attorneys by State
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What is a Minor Child Power of Attorney?
A Minor Child Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal agreement created between the parents or guardians of a minor child and a party called the Agent / Attorney-in-Fact. The Agent may be any responsible adult the parents / guardians have deemed capable of taking care of their child in their absence. The Agent may either be a family member or another trusted individual. The POA will grant the Agent certain decision-making powers that make it possible for them to ensure the wellbeing and safety of the minor child.
The parents / guardians will not need to give up their parental / guardianship rights if they execute a Minor Child POA. They will simply grant temporary authority to the Agent to act in their place.
Moreover, this agreement is limited in its duration. The length of time a Minor Child POA may last is dependent on state laws. Typically, it will only last for a period of six (6) or twelve (12) months. In special cases, such as if the parent or guardian is deployed by the military, state laws may permit the POA to last longer.
The parents or guardians must decide both what decision making powers they wish to grant the Agent and the contexts in which they wish the Agent to wield such powers. The Minor Child Power of Attorney should clearly state the details of both of these matters so that neither party misunderstands what the Agent’s role entails.
Parents or guardians may choose to make the Minor Power of Attorney in advance or at the time they require it. While there are some situations where the need for a POA cannot be anticipated, it is strongly recommended that where possible, it is made well in advance. The reason being that executing this form may take longer than expected, particularly for parents / guardians who reside in states with strict signing requirements.
How to get a Power of Attorney
Parents / guardians who wish to execute a Minor Child Power of Attorney can do so by completing the following five (5) steps:
1. Select an Agent / Attorney-in-Fact
Given the fact that the Agent / Attorney-in-Fact will be responsible for taking care of their minor child in their absence, the parent or guardian should carefully think about who will be ideal to carry out this significant responsibility. Once they have narrowed down this person, they should ask them if they will be willing to become the child’s Agent.
2. Complete a Minor Child Power of Attorney form
The next step is to complete a Minor Child Power of Attorney form that is compliant with state laws. Minor Child POA laws differ greatly state to state, so it is crucial to get this step correct. To ensure the right form is being utilized, the parents can select their state from the list of state-specific Minor Child POA forms above.
3. Abide by state signing requirements
The Principal must understand and subsequently follow through on any signing requirements noted in their state’s POA laws. Common signing requirements include notarization by a Notary Public and the presence of qualified witnesses.
4. Provide copies to the Agent and any other parties named in the document
Next, the Principal should furnish any parties named in the POA with a copy of the completed agreement. That is, they should give a copy to Agent and any other parties that are involved in the POA arrangement, such as the child’s school.
5. Uphold all provisions in the document
All parties to the agreement are required to uphold any of the document’s provisions that apply to them once the circumstances that bring the agreement into effect eventuate.
Minor Child Power of Attorney FAQ
– What tasks can an Agent to a Minor Child POA be asked to do?
The needs and situation of each family is unique, so the tasks each Agent may be asked to do can differ quite dramatically. That being said, the tasks an Agent may typically be asked to do can be broken up into three (3) general categories:
- Schooling, and
- Everyday life.
Below are examples of typical tasks an Agent to a Minor Child POA may be required to do:
- Take the child to doctor’s appointments,
- Make healthcare decisions that impact the child,
- Refuse, consent or withdraw consent for any procedures, tests, or treatments, and
- Access the child’s medical records.
- Drop off and pick up the child from school,
- Grant permission for the child to go on school trips,
- Sign any notes about the child’s schooling, and
- Meet with the child’s teachers.
- Make meals for and feed the child,
- Assist the child to do their homework,
- Provide care to the child while they are at home, and
- Put the child to bed.
– When is it beneficial to use a Minor Child Power of Attorney?
There are many situations in which a parent / guardian could benefit from using a Minor Child POA. The contract has potential to be beneficial whenever the parent or child are separated from one another for a substantial amount of time.
Some of the most common situations it could be beneficial to use a Minor Child POA are noted below:
- When a parent / guardian is away on a business trip,
- When a parent / guardian regularly works interstate or overseas,
- When a parent / guardian needs to work overtime,
- When a parent / guardian is deployed by the military, navy, air force, or special forces,
- When the child attends a boarding school,
- When the child participates in a school camp,
- When the child goes on a trip without the parents / guardians, and
- When the child needs to attend a training program or competition.
– Can a minor act as a Power of Attorney?
No, a minor may not act as a Power of Attorney (i.e., an Agent) in Minor Child Power of Attorney arrangements. While some states allow for emancipated minors to act as Power of Attorney in Durable POA and General POA arrangements, this is not the case for Minor Child POA arrangements. This is because in the eyes of the law, a child does not have the capacity to take care of another child adequately.
As such, only someone who is eighteen (18) years or older may be nominated by the parents or guardians to act as a Power of Attorney / Agent.
– Does a Minor Child POA grant guardianship over a minor child?
A Minor Child POA only grants temporary guardianship over a minor child. The parents / guardians will remain the primary caregivers of the child, and will not relinquish their respective parental / guardianship rights.
For permanent guardianship over a minor child to be granted, a guardianship proceeding will need to be initiated. State laws dictate how guardianship may be obtained, so anyone wishing to seek guardianship should refer to their respective state laws on the matter.
– How does a Minor Child POA be revoked?
A Minor Child Power of Attorney can be revoked by following the laws of the state the agreement was executed in. So long as they comply with these laws, the parents / guardians may revoke the agreement at any time for any range of reasons.
At a minimum, the parents / guardians will need to inform the Agent and any other parties to the agreement of their decision. State laws may require the revocation to take a certain form. Usually, a Revocation of Power of Attorney document that is in line with state laws will be sufficient for the revocation to be legally acceptable.
However, the parents / guardians must ensure that they duly uphold any signing requirements stipulated by state law. Similar to the execution of the Minor Child POA, common signing requirements include notarization and/or the presence of witnesses.