Advance Healthcare Planning
Medical Power of Attorney for a child
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Medical Power of Attorney for a child

By 

Jennifer Mcgee

Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Kylie is a single mother with a minor child, Ryan. She told us, “She lives in Alabama but has to go to Washington on a business trip frequently. Ryan has some medical issues and has to visit a doctor now and then. She is relieved after making a document of Medical Power of Attorney for a child. She can take care of her son through an agent and balance her work life simultaneously.”

Kylie is one of those who have decided not to compromise their children's health by making a document of Medical Power of attorney. This decision has changed her and many others’ lives for good, the same you can do for your child and yourself.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. What is the Medical Power of Attorney for a child?

2. When is the Medical Power of Attorney needed?

3. Who can make a Medical Power of Attorney for a child?

4. Who can be a caregiver/agent in the Medical Power of Attorney for a child?

5. When does a Medical Power of Attorney come into effect?

6. Duration of a Medical Power of Attorney

7. When can a Medical Power of Attorney be revoked or canceled?

8. Guardianship v Medical power of attorney for a child

9. How TrulyWill can help?

What is the Medical Power of Attorney for a child?

A Medical power of attorney for a child is a legal document prepared by a parent/legal guardian through which a nonparent is legally authorized to make decisions on the health issues of a child if the parent/ legal guardian is not available at the time of a medical emergency or medical crisis or even for routine treatment.

The nonparent person under this document may be called an agent/caregiver of the minor. The caregiver may also have the power to get access to the health records of the minor. However, the parents can restrict his powers and make preference of days, timings, and doctors for consultation.

When is the Medical Power of Attorney needed?

The Medical power of attorney for children is made for situations where a minor needs special medical attention and care but parents are not available to make decisions about the medical crisis. To avoid any medical negligence parents tend to make a document of Medical power of attorney for their child to ensure health and safety.

Who can make a Medical Power of Attorney for a child?

Only parents and legal guardians are allowed to make a Medical power of attorney for a child. 

Parents/legal guardians can restrict the powers of the caregiver to some occasions or events or dates. In such cases, caregivers have legal authority to make decisions on such dates, events, or occasions only, this type of document is called Temporary power of attorney.

Mind it! There are some powers that even parents/legal guardians cannot give to the caregiver even through Medical power of attorney because state laws shield such provisions. The power of attorney doesn’t give any right to the caregiver to make any decision like a parent or legal guardian. For instance, even if parents have given authority to the caregiver to make decisions on the minor’s marriage, education, or adoption, the state laws don't allow the caregiver to exercise his authority in Oregon.

Who can be a caregiver/agent in the Medical Power of Attorney for a child?

The legal requirements are that anyone who:

  • He has attained the age of majority, i.e., 18 years old, and
  • He is a sound-minded person

can be appointed as a caregiver in the Medical power of attorney.

But other than this a caregiver should be someone whom you can trust and the child knows him/her. The caregiver doesn't have to be a family member, it could be anyone.

When does a Medical Power of Attorney come into effect?

The Medical power of attorney for children comes into effect on signing the document or happening of the contingent citation i.e. on the date, event, or occasion mentioned in the document. For instance, if parents have mentioned a specific date or occurrence of any event or the date on which they will go on a trip or vacation, the Medical power of attorney will come into effect immediately.

Duration of a Medical Power of Attorney

The duration of a Medical Power of attorney is a decision of the parents, the document should contain the commencement and termination date. Whereas, state laws may differ from place to place regarding the duration of the Medical power of attorney for a child. Most states allow 6-12 months for a Medical power of attorney. After the expiration of such a period, you can make a fresh Medical Power of attorney for your child, if required.

When can a Medical Power of Attorney be revoked or canceled?

A Medical power of attorney can be revoked and canceled by the parents at any time. Most states have provisions of 6 months duration of Medical power of attorney but parents can make it even for a shorter period. 

How TrulyWill can help?

We provide a quick and hassle-free online platform to create a Will or Trust to plan your estate or healthcare. In just 3 simple steps just like 1, 2 & 3 you can make a valid Estate or Healthcare Plan at the most affordable cost online. Guess what, we give a 30-day money-back offer!

Got Questions?

Hi, I’m Jennifer McGee.

Co-founder & Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Feel free to book a call with me to help you with your estate plan.

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What is the Temporary Medical Power of Attorney for a child?
The Medical power of attorney for children is made temporarily i.e. it allows parents or guardians to temporarily grant another adult the right to make parental decisions for their child if they are unavailable. That’s why the Medical power of attorney for children is also called the Temporary Medical power of attorney.
How to get a Medical Power of Attorney for an adult disabled child?
When an adult child has the capacity to understand and sign documents authorizing others to act on their behalf, then parents should consider a Power of Attorney, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Release, and Health Care Proxy. Consult a professional to discuss your options, and decide whether you should have your adult disabled child sign documents granting you authority to act on their behalf, or if a court-ordered protective arrangement would be more appropriate.
What to write or say in the Medical Power of Attorney for a child?
The state laws may vary in this regard. The forms and requirements are different in many states. Some states may require a Medical power of attorney to be signed in presence of witnesses or notarised in front of a public notary. 
Do grandparents of a child need a Medical power of attorney?
Usually, the grandparents may take a child to a doctor for treatment but the state laws require that it is best that grandparents must have a Medical power of attorney.
What’s a Power of Attorney for Healthcare?
A Healthcare Power of Attorney legally authorizes the third person who is trustable to make decisions regarding end-of-life or medical/critical care of the testator on his behalf. Power of attorney for Healthcare is just another name for Healthcare Power of Attorney or Medical Power of Attorney.
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