A minor power of attorney form gives a parent the ability to appoint a trusted person 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.
- Deployed on active military duty.
- Receiving long-term medical care.
- Serving a prison sentence.
- 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 a position given by a parent (the “principal”) to another individual (the “agent”) that grants them the responsibility of caring for their child for a length of time. Usually the maximum length of time is one (1) year, but this differs state by state. 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 handing over legal custody of their child but temporary parental rights. The form can be revoked at any time by the parent by delivering a revocation form to the agent.
Depending on the state in which the parents 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 with the following qualities:
- Parenting experience
- Understands and accepts the significance of the responsibility
Once the document is signed, the agent will receive almost all of the rights normally reserved for the child’s parents. This can include the right to manage the following duties:
- Handle medical matters (schedule appointments, request treatments, etc.).
- 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 POA
- Step 3 – Sign the Form
- Step 4 – Give to the Agent
Anyone can serve as the agent as long as 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 whom they nominate as their agent. When selecting an agent, a parent should consider whether that person has meets the following conditions:
- They are trustworthy.
- They can be a positive role model.
- They have experience with children.
- They will be able to provide a stable and safe home environment.
- They are financially secure.
The form is a total of three (3) pages, which asks the parent(s) for the following specifications:
- What powers will be granted to the agent (full or limited).
- When the POA will begin and end.
- What state laws the POA will be 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 legally valid and binding. This will require the principal (parent) to have their signature witnessed and/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 upload it to 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 retained by the parents and any other applicable parties. 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.
|California||§ 1510 (Art. 2)|
|Florida||Ch. 744 “Guardianship”|
|Georgia||§§ 19-9-120 to 19-9-134|
|Illinois||§ 755 ILCS 5/11-1|
|Louisiana||Title 9 §§ 951, 952, 953, & 954|
|Maryland||§§ 701 to 703|
|New Hampshire||§§ 464-A:1 to 464-A:47|
|New Jersey||§ 3B:12-39|
|New Mexico||§ 45-5-104|
|New York||§ 657|
|North Carolina||§ 32C-2-213|
|North Dakota||§ 30.1-26-04|
|Oklahoma||§ 700 & § 701|
|South Carolina||§ 62-5-310|
|South Dakota||§ 29A-5-210|
|Tennessee||§§ 34-6-301 to 34-6-310|
|Texas||Title 2, Chapter 34|
|Virginia||Chapter 17 (C)|
|West Virginia||HB 4237|
|Wyoming||Title 3, Ch. 2|
- Red – Required
- Blue – Optional
Step 1 – Parent/Guardian + Child Names
Corresponding to the numbers in the image below, enter the following information:
- 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 they are a parent, or the 2nd box if a guardian.
- The address of the parent/guardian.
- If there is a co-guardian, enter the full name of the second parent/guardian.
- Indicate whether the co-guardian is an actual parent or a legal guardian.
- The co-guardian’s full street address (street, city, and state).
Step 2 – The Agent
Enter the following information pertaining to the agent (also known as the “attorney-in-fact”):
- Their full name.
- Relation to the minor child (e.g., “Aunt”).
- Street address.
Step 3 – Agent’s Powers
This section allows the parent/guardian(s) to specify the scope of the powers the agent will have. Only choose one of the options. If the agent will have similar powers to the parent, initial and check “A” and enter the name of the state in which the principal resides. If the parent(s) would like to limit the agent to only a few select powers, initial and check “B” and include details of the powers the agent will have.
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 powers. Then, check the applicable boxes to indicate 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 suffers a medical event that leaves them unable to communicate their wishes.
- Finally, select option “C” if the principal would like the form to be revoked upon their death.
Note: consult state law if the principal will not be selecting option “B” or “C” as each state has different rules and regulations pertaining to the durability of a power of attorney.
Step 5 – Governing State
Enter the name of the state in which the parents/guardians live.
Step 6 – Parent/Guardian Signature(s)
At least one (1) parent or guardian must sign the form. If there are two (2) parents/guardians named in Step 1, both will need to sign the POA form.
Do not sign the form until the witnesses and/or notary public are present and ready to observe the signing of the document.
Step 7 – Agent (“Attorney-in-Fact”) Acceptance
As proof that the agent understands their obligations to the child and parent(s)/guardian(s), they will need to complete the following steps:
- Sign their name (can be accomplished online using eSign).
- Print their name.
- Provide the date they signed (dd/mm/yyyy).
Step 8 – Witness Signatures – If Applicable
If it is required by state law to have one (1) or more witnesses observe the principal sign the document, they will need to do the following:
- Sign their name.
- Print their name.
- Date their signature.
- Enter their full mailing address.
Step 9 – Notarization
This section is reserved for a notary public (if required).