Parents are often required to travel away from home for business or choose to travel for a vacation. Regardless of the reason, a parent may elect to execute a special power of attorney in his absence.
A special power of attorney is a legal instrument a parent may execute as the principal which gives an agent (the caregiver) the ability to act on the principal's behalf in legal matters. A special power of attorney will specify what powers the agent will have and when the powers will terminate.
The practical effect a special power of attorney will have is that the agent will be able to consent to medical treatment if necessary, communicate with schools or perform a variety of other acts the parent would normally perform in the parent's absence. In many cases, a doctor or hospital will refuse to treat a minor in the absence of a power of attorney when the parent is unavailable.
The special power of attorney should include detailed information regarding the children and the caregiver including names, dates of birth and social security numbers if possible. The document should also specify what the agent may consent to and any exceptions to her powers as well as the dates that the power of attorney will be in effect.. The documents should also be signed in front of a notary public and an original given to the caregiver.