Medical Power of Attorney for Children

By Mike Broemmel
a medical power, attorney, children

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Implementing a medical power of attorney for children is a wise decision if you are not always readily available to your child. For example, consider a more limited medical power of attorney for children if your child spends part of the day in school or daycare. If you are away from home for more extended periods of time (active military duty, for example) consider a broader medical power of attorney that covers not only covers more immediate medical issues but more long term health care decisions as well.

Function

The function of a medical power of attorney for children is to designate a specific individual as your agent to make certain health care or medical decisions on behalf of your child in your absence. The agent is the legal term for the person you select to make these decisions on behalf of your child. Under power of attorney law, as the person who created the instrument you are known as the principal. Technically speaking the agent is not acting on behalf of your minor child. Rather, the agent is acting on your behalf, as you possess the ability to make medical care and treatment decisions on behalf of your child.

Time Frame

You can establish a termination date within the medical power of attorney itself. For example, if you know that you will be away from your home and child until a specific date, you can include a provision terminating the power of attorney on or shortly after the date you return. Consider setting a date at least several days beyond what you believe is your return date to cover the possibility you end up detained. The laws of all states also permit you to terminate a medical power of attorney for children at any other time you desire.

Misconceptions

The most common misconception about a medical power of attorney for children is that the instrument continues after you die. The reality is that a medical power of attorney for children is automatically terminated upon your death.

Benefits

The primary benefit of a medical power of attorney for children is ensuring that there always is a responsible adult available to make sound medical care and treatment decisions on behalf of your child. Through a power of attorney, you establish the types of treatments and procedures that you deem acceptable for your child.

Execution

The laws vary from one state to another in regard to executing or signing a medical power of attorney for children. Some states require a notary public present when signing a power of attorney. Other states require one or two witnesses to the execution of a power of attorney. A final variation involves both a notary and a witness or two at the signing of a power of attorney.

About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.

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