A minor power of attorney form gives a parent the ability to grant a trusted person with the right to take care of their child for a specific length of time. With power of attorney, the nominated person will have the ability to enroll the child in school, permit medical treatment, sign waivers, and provide for the child’s general welfare.
Commonly used when a parent will be:
- Traveling out of state or country without their child;
- Serving on active duty deployment;
- Receiving long-term medical care;
- Serving a prison sentence; or
- Moving to another city or state without their child.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Minor power of attorney is given by a parent (the “principal”) to a person known as the “agent” to take responsibility for their child for a length of time typically under one (1) year. The financial responsibility for the child remains with the parent(s), although the agent may provide financial assistance when necessary. By giving power of attorney, the parent is not giving legal custody over their child, but temporary parental rights. The form can be revoked at any time by the parent by delivering a revocation to the agent.
Depending on the state in which the parent(s) reside, it may be illegal for the agent to handle matters relating to transferring real property, consenting to the child’s marriage, and permitting adoption.
The parent(s) should preferably choose someone that:
- Is trustworthy;
- Has parenting experience; and
- Understands all of the responsibilities and duties they will be given.
Once signed, the agent will receive almost all of the rights held by the child’s parents. This can include the right to:
- Handle medical matters (schedule appointments, request treatments, and so on);
- Enroll the child in school;
- Sign them up for extracurricular activities;
- View any documents and records relating to health and education.
If the parent(s) would like to limit their agent’s rights in one (1) or more areas, they can exclude certain powers when completing the POA form.
- Step 1 – Identify the Agent
- Step 2 – Complete the Power of Attorney
- Step 3 – Sign it
- Step 4 – Give to the Agent
Anyone can serve as the agent so long they are over eighteen (18) years old. However, just like a parent wouldn’t let anyone babysit their child, they should be very selective with who they nominate as their agent. When selecting an agent, look for someone that:
- Is trustworthy;
- Is a positive role model;
- Has experience taking care of children;
- Provides a stable and safe home environment; and
- Is financially secure.
The form is a total of three (3) pages; which will require the parent(s) to specify:
- The powers granted to the agent (full or limited);
- When the POA begins and ends; and
- The state in which the POA is governed by.
Additionally, the following information will be required regarding the child, parent(s), and agent:
Each state has its own requirements for how a power of attorney must be signed. The requirements must be met in order for the form to be considered valid. This will require the principal (parent) to have their signature witnessed (by 1+ witnesses) or notarized. While having both is rarely mandatory, doing so can aid in proving that the parent(s) issued the power of attorney.
Notarize – Once the form has been filled out, save it to your computer and click “Notarize a Document” on the homepage to notarize the form completely online. The service costs $25.
The parent(s) should provide the agent with the completed power of attorney. A copy should be made for record-keeping. Parent(s) can give a copy to their attorney, the school district, and any other entity that may require it. The parent should make a note of all entities that received a copy in the event they need to revoke the agent’s powers.
Do I need to use an attorney?
No. So long the correct state is selected above, the form can be completed solely by the parent or guardian.
How long does a Minor Child POA last?
Not including military deployments, the average duration for a minor child POA is one (1) year. Although this can be limited to as short as sixty (60) days if the parent(s) live in Massachusetts, per § 5-103. The state laws (above) should be referenced for the maximum permittable length.
Does it need to be notarized?
Yes, if it is required by the state. Even if it is not a state requirement, having the form notarized is still recommended as it further proves the authenticity of the POA.
- Red – Required
- Blue – Optional
Step 1 – Parent/Guardian + Child Names
Corresponding to the numbers in the image, enter the following:
- The full name of the child;
- The day, month, and year the child was born;
- The name of the parent/guardian;
- Check the 1st box if a parent, the 2nd box if a guardian; and
- The address of the parent/guardian. If there is a 2nd parent or guardian, enter:
- The full name of the parent or guardian;
- Check whether they are a parent or guardian; and
- Their full street address (street, city, and state).
Step 2 – The Agent
Enter the following regarding the agent (also known as the “attorney-in-fact”):
- Their full name;
- Relation to the minor child (ex: “Aunt”); and
- Street address.
Step 3 – Agent’s Powers
This section allows the parent/guardian(s) to specify the scope of the powers their agent will have. Only choose one of the options. If the agent should have similar powers to the parent, initial and check “A” and enter the name of the state the principal(s) resides. If the parent(s) would like to limit the agent’s to only a select few power(s), initial and check “B” and write the power(s) the agent has in detail.
Step 4 – Duration
The duration of the form is how long it remains in effect. Start by entering the day, month, and year in which the agent will receive their power(s). Then, check the applicable box(es) for when the power of attorney will terminate.
- If option “A” is initialed and checked, the contract will be revoked on a certain date.
- By selecting option “B”, the form will terminate if the principal has an unexpected (or expected) medical event that leaves them unable to communicate their wishes.
- Finally, select option “C” if the principal would like to have the form revoke upon death.
Note: consult state law if the principal will not be selecting option “B” and/or “C”, as each state has different rules and regulations pertaining to the durability of a power of attorney.
Step 5 – Governing State
Write the name of the state in which the parent/guardian(s) live.
Step 6 – Parent/Guardian Signature(s)
At least one (1) parent or guardian must sign the form. If two (2) parents or guardians were entered in Step 1, both will need to sign in this section.
Do not sign the form until the witness(es) and/or notary public is present and ready to sign the document.
Step 7 – Agent (“Attorney-in-Fact”) Acceptance
As proof that the agent understands their obligations to the child and parent/guardian(s), they will need to:
- Sign their name (once the form is complete, click “eSign a Document” on the homepage).
- Print their name; and
- Write the date they signed (dd/mm/yyyy).
Step 8 – Witness Signature(s) – If Applicable
If it is required by state law to have one (1) or more witnesses view the principal’s signature, they will need to:
- Sign their name;
- Print their name;
- Date their signature; and
- Write their full mailing address.
Step 9 – Notarization
This section is reserved for a notary public.