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Is an emergency power of attorney ever necessary for a minor child?

On Behalf of | Aug 18, 2021 | Estate Planning |

Face it — 2020 was a rough year, and 2021 is shaping up to be a tough contender, as well. If you are a parent, you could find that the stresses of everyday life have gotten your marriage in a bit of a crisis state. What you might need is a short trip out of the country with just your spouse to recharge your marital batteries.

But if you plan to leave the kids behind with either relatives, friends or professional babysitters, there is something you need to do before packing your bags and heading off to the airport — aside from your will. You need to leave a medical power of attorney (POA) behind with your child’s caretaker.

Grant permission for the treatment of minors in medical emergencies

Whether you are comfortable calling it an emergency power of attorney (with listed starting and ending dates) or prefer to leave those terms out of it, your estate planning attorney can draft a document that covers all your bases.

Here’s why it’s so vital: While you are off having some fun in the sun, your child could suffer a serious accident in any number of ways or come down with a deadly infection in which minutes can matter between life or death. Without this authorization in place granting their caregiver permission to seek emergency care, those precious minutes could be lost as the emergency room staff frantically try to reach you by phone in order to render treatment.

Could these power of attorney documents ever be abused?

If drafted by a legal professional, no. You would never have to worry that you would return to your 13-year-old daughter with a belly-button piercing or your 16-year-old son with a tattoo. These legal documents clearly state they are for emergency care only. This should put everyone’s mind at ease and let you focus on enjoying your vacation.