You may have heard of a Power of Attorney for adults, but did you know that in Georgia, you can also have a Power of Attorney for young children?
A Power of Attorney for Minors allows a parent or legal guardian to temporarily delegate caregiving authority and duties to another person. The Power of Attorney acts in the child’s best interests, taking care of them and making decisions on the child’s behalf. It’s common for a parent or guardian to create a Power of Attorney document for their child if the parent is about to: take an extended vacation, is traveling internationally for work, has an upcoming hospital stay, is in the military and will soon be deployed, or if the parent is about to be incarcerated. Note: if a parent is planning to leave the child for a shorter period of time, they may want to consider a Consent Form for Medical Treatment instead of a Power of Attorney for Minor Children.
Who Can Serve as a Power of Attorney?
For a person to be named a Power of Attorney for a minor, Georgia law requires them to be an adult (aged 18 or older) and a resident of Georgia. The person does not have to be related to the child; they can be a family friend or associated with a care organization.
In order for the Power of Attorney to take effect, both the parent(s) and the caregiver must sign the Power of Attorney form. The document must also be notarized.
What Authority Does the Power of Attorney Have?
The Power of Attorney form allows the caregiver to exercise most or all of the parent’s normal responsibilities. It gives the caregiver the authority to:
- Provide food, lodging, entertainment, and travel
- Schedule and consent to medical, dental, and mental health treatments
- Access medical and educational records
Additionally, the parent or guardian can add specific powers into the Power of Attorney form, such as the authority to sign forms on the child’s behalf or write checks for the child’s benefit.
How Long is the Power of Attorney in Place?
When the parent or legal guardian is creating the Power of Attorney form, they can give the caregiver authority for one year, for a specific length of time, or make the document effective until revoked.
A parent might want to set the Power of Attorney for a specified amount of time if they’re going on a vacation or work assignment and know the exact dates of travel. The parent or guardian who created the Power of Attorney can revoke the document at any time; under Georgia law, all they would need to do is provide written notice to the caregiver or to a court of competent jurisdiction.
The court may revoke the Power of Attorney if it feels that the caregiver is providing inadequate care or is not acting in the child’s best interests. The court can also revoke the Power of Attorney if the parent or legal guardian is prepared to regain care of the child.
If the caregiver wants to resign as Power of Attorney, they can do so under Georgia law. The caregiver would need to communicate their resignation (in writing, via certified mail) to the parent or legal guardian. They would also have to notify the child’s school, health care providers, and any other entities named in the original Power of Attorney form.
Have Additional Questions? Contact Brian M. Douglas & Associates
If you’re a parent of young children, you want to make sure that they’ll be taken care of if you are otherwise unable to do so. Georgia’s Power of Attorney for Minors form can give you peace of mind knowing that the right caregiver is in place. If you have questions about this type of Power of Attorney, please reach out to us. We’re always happy to help. You can contact Brian M. Douglas & Associates at (770) 933-9009 or use our online contact form.