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Yes, you’re going on vacation without the kids. It’s your chance for some much needed time alone to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

But before you go, do you have everything in order?

I’m not talking about a list of emergency contact information, doctors’ names, or even your last will and testament. I’m talking about a parental power of attorney.

Most people don’t know this document exists and, more importantly, that it’s necessary for a non-parent to make decisions for a minor child, the most necessary of all being medical decisions.

As the parent of the minor child, you are granting this authorization to one or multiple adults. This document must be signed by the parent(s) before one witness and notary and is effective for 6 months from the date you sign it. The power of attorney I prepare also includes insurance information, allergies (if any), and the child’s blood type. If you do not include insurance information in the document, I recommend you leave a copy of your insurance card, as many hospitals and doctor’s offices will not provide medical services without it.

Understand that a hospital will always treat a minor in the case of an emergency where immediate injury or death could result from a delay in obtaining parental consent.

On the other hand, the parental power of attorney is important for non-emergency medical issues. The best example I can give is the case of a grandmother who was watching her granddaughter while the latter’s parents were away. The child fell and cut her leg, so her grandmother took her to the hospital. It was determined that the granddaughter would need stitches, but the doctor wouldn’t administer them without parental consent. If the grandmother had had a parental power of attorney, she would have been able to consent to the stitches.

If you want this document prepared before you leave for vacation, schedule a consultation with me and we’ll discuss the details.

CategoryEstate Planning
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