Do You Have to Go to Court to Give Someone Power of Attorney Over a Minor?

By Heather Frances J.D.

When you create a power of attorney, you give someone else, known as your agent, authority to do something that you can do. You can give someone a power of attorney to take care of your minor child. For example, you can allow another person to seek medical care for your child while you are away. Since a power of attorney does not give any guardianship or other permanent rights, you do not have to go to court to obtain the document.

Giving Authority

Your agent only has the precise authority you give him over your child. The power-of-attorney document itself describes the scope of the agent's authority. For example, you can give your agent just the authority to take your child to the doctor, or you can give him authority to make many decisions for your child, such as enrolling him in school. Generally, however, you cannot give away the right to allow your child to be adopted or married via a power of attorney.

Creating a Power of Attorney

You can create a power of attorney by specifically identifying what powers you want your agent to have and to which child your document applies. You must sign the document and depending on your state's rules, you might be required to sign it in front of a notary or witnesses. Once the document is properly signed, it is legally effective; you do not need to take it to court. You or your agent can give copies of the document to people or agencies that might need it, such as schools, doctors and child care providers, to let them know that your agent has certain authority over your child.

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