By law, parents have the right to make decisions for a minor child until the child reaches adulthood. However, the parents may not be available at all times. A power of attorney for a minor is a legal instrument that authorizes another adult to make decisions for the child. When grandparents are traveling with minors, situations such as a medical emergency may arise that require an immediate response. The power of attorney allows grandparents to act in the best interests of the child. It is wise to draw up a power of attorney before departure.
Download a sample grandparent power of attorney form. Forms are available on your state’s website or a legal documents website. Use this form as a template when creating your power of attorney.
Customize the sample grandparent power of attorney form for your purposes. Delete the portions that are not relevant to your situation, such as educational directives or psychological counseling.
Provide identifying information. List the names, complete addresses and relationships of the parties involved and provide the child’s name and birthdate.
Enumerate the decisions the child’s grandparents are authorized to make. Be as specific as possible. Include any limitations or restrictions as well. State the reasons for drawing up the power of attorney.
State how long the power of attorney will be in effect. If you are giving it to grandparents taking your child on a trip, you might use the duration of the trip. The power of attorney will expire at the end of the duration period you specify.
Take the power of attorney to a notary public. Do not sign the document beforehand. Bring a valid photo identification card with you. Sign the document and have the notary sign and attest to your signature. You do not need to file the document with the court to make it effective.
Give your child’s grandparents a copy of the signed power of attorney form to take with them on the trip. Include health insurance information and a HIPPA, or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, release form. Keep a copy in your own files.
Both parents have to sign the power of attorney. However, if you are divorced with custody, you may have other requirements under state law. For example, in some states you need to send the signed power of attorney to the other parent’s last-known address.