Free Power of Attorney Forms For Child/Minor | Word – PDF

A Power of Attorney for a Minor (child) is a document that permits the attorney-in-fact or agent to act on the principal’s behalf in a specific situation.

It is typically used by parents or legal guardians of children to authorise another person, usually a trusted family member, friend, guardian, or attorney-in-fact, to be the child’s caretaker temporarily. The child POA form specifies what type of authority is granted, who is authorized to exercise that authority, and under what conditions/circumstances. Generally, this legal document will allow the agent to decide matters relating to the child’s education, health care, property, finances, and other needs.

This power of attorney may allow the agent to exercise broad powers, or it may be limited in scope, depending on the type of POA that the principal holder executes. A POA for a child is only valid for 6-12 months in most cases. Still, the minor’s parent (principal holder) can extend this designation by applying for guardianship, or they may create and execute a new one. According to most state laws, the minor POA form must be signed before a notary public to be valid. Once it is authorized, the appointed attorney-in-fact will need to present this document each time a public or private institution requests verification.

A child’s power of attorney is also termed as the following:

  • Minor power of attorney
  • A medical power of attorney for a child
  • Guardianship power of attorney
  • A power of attorney for child care and custody
  • Temporary delegation of parental authority
  • Grandparent power of attorney
  • Temporary power of attorney for minor
  • POA for child

When to Use a Power of Attorney for a Child?

Parents and guardians can execute a child’sPOA when they are away from home (i.e., when traveling for business or vacation, deployed overseas for military service) or ill or incapacitated. The document may also prove helpful in situations where the minor’s parent is incarcerated. This way, their child’s needs will still be met even if they are unavailable or not able to make these decisions for themselves at that particular time.

Power of Attorney Vs. Guardianship

A power of attorney is different from a guardianship, although both documents are legal tools that grant authority to an agent to make decisions on behalf of the principal holder. These documents are different because a POA for a child is used when the parent or guardian is temporarily unable to make decisions on the child’s behalf and would like to delegate their parental authority to a trusted agent to care for the child’s needs while they are away.

On the other hand, guardianship is used if an adult is incapable of making responsible decisions due to a mental disability and a substitute decision-maker (guardian) is appointed by a court. Unlike a POA, where the principal retains parental authority, guardianship dictates that complete parental control and authority be transferred to the court-appointed guardian.

Moreover, a parent may choose to revoke a child’s POA. However, the parent cannot change guardianship because it involves a profound loss of parental authority and privileges. Only a court can change guardianship.

Choosing an Agent

Parents and guardians should choose a trusted person to act as the agent for their POA for the child. This person should have a close relationship with the child, and they should be able to take good care of the child’s needs during their parent’s absence or the specified circumstances. Besides, the appointed agent should make sound and informed decisions.

Grandparents, siblings, aunt, uncle, close family friend, etc. can be named as agents in this form. Before appointing either of these parties as an agent for the Minor POA, it is essential to hold a discussion with them beforehand such that everyone is on the same page.

The principal’s expectations should be explicitly laid out during the discussion to gauge whether the agent is up to the task. Given that the agent has any second thoughts on their ability to care for the child’s needs while the parent is away, that needs to be taken into account such that at the end of the day, the most suited person is granted the temporary parental authority.

Powers and responsibilities of an agent

A minor POA gives the designated attorney-in-fact the legal authority to act on behalf of the parent or guardian in matters relating to the child’s care. The powers granted could be broad (i.e., almost full parental authority) or limited to affairs only listed in the POA form.

In this way, based on the type of powers granted, the agent can sign school forms, medical forms, and legal forms for the child on behalf of their parent. The agent can also provide primary day-to-day care for the child,travel with the child, enroll the child in school, daycare, or extra-curricular activities, access school records, and participate in decisions regarding the child’s education.

Duration of POA for a child

This POA is valid for a duration that the principal holder usually specifies when executing the document. For example, suppose the POAs expiration date is not determined. In that case, most state laws governing minor powers of attorneys dictate that it remains valid for a period of between six (6) to twelve (12) months maximum.

However, the principal holder can choose to extend this period if they anticipate being absent longer by executing a new POA for minors once the previous POA expires. In addition, given that the child’s parent is a military service member, federal laws stipulate that the child’s POA expires once the parent’s military deployment expires.

How to Get a POA for a Child?

Getting a POA for a child does not have to be a daunting task. The only requirement is that the principal ensures that the document is written and completed according to the state-specific requirements regarding time limits, signing provisions, and state statutes concerning Minor powers of attorney. Mastering the necessary steps to obtain POA will ensure that a valid POA is created.

The following are the steps to get a POA for a child:

Select a trustworthy agent

First, the parent or legal guardian should choose a trusted adult who will act as the agent of their child POA. Ideally, this should be a person who has a close relationship with the child, a person the parent can rely on to make sound and informed decisions while away, and who can fend for children’s needs.

Think about the start and end dates

Secondly, the principal holder will need to decide the appropriate timeframe for the validity of the minor POA form. Typically,it is valid for between 6 and 12 months in most states; thus, the principal will need to consider this.

Define the agent’s powers and responsibilities

The next step involves deciding what powers and responsibilities to grant the selected agent. It is crucial that the principal lists all of the tasks they will need their child’s POAagent to handle while they are away or unavailable. The outlined powers and responsibilities must be specific and relevant to the requirements that need to be fulfilled by an agent of a POA for a minor.

Sign the form

After defining the agent’s powers and responsibilities, it is time to execute this form. This is usually done by signing and dating the document. Depending on the principal’s state of residence and the applicable state laws, the parent may need to sign the document before a notary public, and it may need to be witnessed.

The agent will also be required to sign aPOA for minor form, and they may need to authorise a certification acknowledging their responsibilities. Additionally, both the witnesses and notary public will also be required to sign and date the POA form, and a seal from the notary citizen may be required.

Use the form

The child POA form is executed at this stage, and the agent is authorised to make specific parental decisions on behalf of the principal. A copy of the completed and duly signed form should be issued to the agent, which they will present anytime they are required to make decisions on behalf of the parent. The agent may make decisions deemed in the child’s best interest while ensuring that they act within the parent’s directives.

Maximum Time Period

Different states have diverse laws regarding the maximum duration for a minor POA. Whereas most states require it to be valid for between 6-12 months, a principal must create a child POA that conforms to their state-specific maximum periods.

The table below provides a list of all states and the maximum time validity period of a POA for a child:

StateMaximum Period
Alabama1 year
Alaska1 year
Arizona6 moths
ArkansasNot mentioned
CaliforniaNot mentioned
Colorado12 months
Connecticut1 year
DelawareNot mentioned
FloridaNot mentioned
GeorgiaNot mentioned
Hawaii1 year
Idaho6 months
IllinoisNot mentioned
Indiana12 months
IowaNo laws
Kansas1 year
KentuckyNot mentioned
LouisianaNo laws
Maine12 months
MarylandNo laws
MassachusettsNot mentioned
Michigan180 days
MinnesotaNot mentioned
MississippiNo laws
Missouri1 year
Montana6 months
Nebraska6 months
Nevada6 months
New HampshireNo laws
New Jersey6 months
New Mexico6 months
New YorkNot mentioned
New CarolinaNot mentioned
North Dakota6 months
OhioNot mentioned
Oklahoma1 year
Oregon6 months
PennsylvaniaNot mentioned
Rhode IslandNot mentioned
South CarolinaNot mentioned
South DakotaNot mentioned
TennesseeNot mentioned
TexasNot mentioned
Utah6 months
VermontNot mentioned
Virginia180 days
WashingtonNot mentioned
Washington D.CNot mentioned
West VirginiaNot mentioned
Wisconsin1 year
WyomingNot mentioned

Signing Requirements

Signing requirements for a minor POA also vary by state. This table lists the various U.S. states and their applicable signing requirements. To ensure you create a valid POA form for your child, confirm with your relevant state-specific signing requirements.

AlabamaNotary public
AlaskaNotary public
ArizonaWitness and a notary public
ArkansasNotary public
CaliforniaNotary public and two witnesses
ColoradoNotary public
ConnecticutTwo witnesses and notarization recommended
DelawareNotary public
FloridaNotary public and two witnesses
GeorgiaNotary public
HawaiiNotary public
IdahoNotary public
IllinoisOne witness for health care powers
IndianaNotary public
IowaNotary public
KansasNotary public
KentuckyNotary public
LouisianaTwo witnesses and a notary public
MaineNotary public
MarylandTwo witnesses and a notary public
MassachusettsTwo witnesses and notarization recommended
MichiganTwo witnesses and a notary public
MinnesotaTwo witnesses
MississippiNotary public
MissouriNotary public
MontanaNotary public
NebraskaNotary public
NevadaNotary public
New HampshireNotary public
New JerseyTwo witnesses
New MexicoNotary public
New YorkNotary public
New CarolinaNotary public
North DakotaNotarization recommended
OhioNotary public
OklahomaNotary public
OregonNotarization recommended
PennsylvaniaNotary public and two witnesses
Rhode IslandNotary public
South CarolinaNotary and two witnesses
South DakotaNotarization recommended
TennesseeNotary public
TexasTwo witnesses
UtahNotary public
VermontNotarization recommended
VirginiaNotary public and witness
WashingtonNotary public and two witnesses
West VirginiaNotary public
WisconsinNotary public
WyomingNotary public

Minor Power of Attorney Laws

In the U.S,.this POA is governed by state laws. These laws vary depending on the principal’s county and state of jurisdiction. Each state has its regulations regarding power of attorney for a child, and each state enforces its own rules regarding the execution and use of the document. Below is a table detailing the various U.S. states and the relevant laws governing minor POA:

Alabama§ 26-2A-7
AlaskaAS 13.26.066
Arizona§ 14-5104 and § 14-5107
Arkansas§ 28-68-213
California§ 1510 – 1517
Colorado§ 15-14-105
Connecticut§ 1-351l(A)
Delaware§ 2320 – § 2328
Georgia§ 19-9-120 – 19-9-129
Hawaii§ 560:5-105
Idaho§ 15-5-104
Illinois755 ILCS 45/4-5.1(a)
IndianaIC 29-3-9-1
Iowa§ 633B.213(1)(a)
Kansas§ 38-2403(d)
Kentucky§ 27A.095
Louisiana§ 951, 952, 953, and 954
Maine§ 5-104
Maryland§ 13-701(-703)
Massachusetts§ 5-103
Michigan§ 700.5103
MinnesotaChapter 257B, § 524.5-201 to § 524.5-211
MississippiTitle 93, Chapter 31
Missouri§ 475.602
Montana§ 72-5-103
Nebraska§ 30-2604
NevadaA.B. 319, 2017 Leg., 79th Sess
New HampshireChapter 464-A: Guardians and Conservators
New Jersey§ 3B:12-74
New Mexico§ 45-51-104
New YorkArticle 5, Title 15 and Family Court Act §661(b)
New Carolina  § 32C-2-213
North Dakota§ 30.1-26-04
Ohio§ 1337.28
Oklahoma§ 10-700 and § 10-701
Oregon§ 109.056
Pennsylvania§ 5603(u.3)(1)(i)
Rhode Island§ 18-16-2(a)(J) and § 18-16-12
South Carolina§ 62-5-310
South Dakota§ 29A-5-210
Tennessee§34-6-301 – §34-6-310
Texas§1104.151 – 1104.160
Vermont§ 2623
Virginia§§ 64.2-1700 through 64.2-1706
West Virginia§39B-1-105
Wyoming§ 3-2-302

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a minor be given power of attorney?

No. Most state laws governing powers of attorney prohibit the bestowal of authority upon a minor. An ideal agent must be within the required legal age, usually at least 18 years for most states. However, this may differ depending on your state, and other states may not hold the age restriction requirement for potential agents. In such cases, a minor can be granted powers of attorney.

Do I need an attorney/lawyer to create a power of attorney for a child?

An attorney or lawyer is not mandatory when creating a child’s POA. You can download your state-specific forms online, duly fill them out as per the instructions, and sign it following your state requirements and laws. However, while you can create this document on your own, it is recommended that you consult an estate planning lawyer to ensure that your minor POA covers everything you need for your child’s care, grants the agent the proper powers, and ensure the document is appropriately executed.

What are the limitations of using a power of attorney for child care?

A child’s POA does not terminate the parent or guardian’s rights, duties, and responsibilities. Instead, it works as an add-on and complements existing responsibilities and obligations. Additionally, the Minor POA form does not allow the agent to make legal decisions for the child, such as giving up the child for adoption, marrying off the child, placing the child with another person whom the court has already deemed as unfit, nor limiting the parent/guardian’s rights. The document only allows the agent to decide specific needs and interests, as directed by the child’s parent.

How much does making a POA for child care and custody cost?

The average cost of getting a POA for child care and custody varies from state to state. Factors like whether or not an attorney is required, the duration of the document, the complexity of its provisions, and whether or not it will be used in other states may impact its final cost. However, a typical POA for child care and custody will usually cost between $200 and $500.

Does the POA for a minor document need to be notarized?

The simple answer to this question varies depending on your state of residence and the applicable signing requirements. It is a prerequisite that the POA for a minor must be notarized in some states. However, in other states, it is permissible to use a POA for a child without having it notarized.

How long does a child’s POA last?

This also varies depending on your state of residence and your specified start and end dates while executing your child’s POA. However, it is essential to note that most states require the minor POA to last between 6-12 months. To confirm your state’s maximum time limits, consider confirming with your estate planning attorney or reference the child POA maximum time limits by the state table provided in this article above.

About This Article

Rebecca Leaper
Authored by:
Attorney - Medical Malpractice, Contract Law, Family Law, Business Entity Formation, Professional Editor
Rebecca Leaper seamlessly blends her roles as a mother, lawyer, and writer, bringing a rich tapestry of skills to her professional endeavors. As a seasoned litigator and appellate attorney, she possesses a keen eye for drafting, editing, and proofreading content. Her areas of legal mastery span from medical malpractice and family law to intricate contract drafting and appellate brief writing. Moreover, Rebecca's proficiency extends to forming both domestic and international business entities, including LLCs, corporations, and trusts. Alongside her legal expertise, she boasts project management skills and professional editing experience. Committed to excellence and precision, Rebecca is poised to collaborate on diverse projects, ensuring top-notch results.

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