Whenever it becomes necessary to allow someone else to provide for the care of your children, a Power of Attorney for the Care of Children form can be used. This document allows parents of one or more children (sometimes called the "Principals" or "Grantors") to appoint another person to act as their Attorney-in-Fact to care for their children.
The word "attorney" is not used here to mean "lawyer". The person acting as the Attorney-in-Fact for the Parents or the children does not need to be a lawyer. Almost anyone can be appointed an Attorney-in-Fact by a power of attorney.
This form allows the Attorney-in-Fact to make decisions for the children in place of the parents, including health care, education and welfare decisions. This can be useful if the parent will be absent for a period of time. The powers granted by this instrument are very broad. Parents are basically giving temporary custody of the children to the Attorney-in-fact.
By having this type of document available, the Attorney-in-Fact will be able to better deal with any types of emergency involving the children and can avoid potential problems when, for example, arranging for medical, dental or any other type of care. Medical personnel will also generally feel more comfortable dealing with an Attorney-in-Fact who can provide this type of document.
The Parents should be very careful in the selection of the Attorney-in-Fact, as the powers granted by this document are very broad and sweeping and the children are being entrusted to the Attorney-in-Fact. The Parents should also be careful in instructing the Attorney-in-Fact as to what the Attorney-in-Fact should do.
Although the Power of Attorney for the Care of Children has a beginning and an "end/expiration" date, the Parents can revoke the document at any time even before the expiration date.
The Power of Attorney for the Care of Children should always be notarized, even if your state does not require it. Notarization will make it more difficult for any third party to challenge the validity of the Power of Attorney.
Although, some states don't require that a Power of Attorney be witnessed, it is always a very good idea to do so.
Please note that this information is not intended as and is not a substitute
for legal advice. Furthermore, this information is general information that
is not state specific. Whenever appropriate, the instructions included with
the forms packages offered for sale, generally include state specific instructions.