With summer upon us, many families are looking forward to taking their summer vacation. Some people will spend their time relaxing on a beach, visiting a foreign country, or visiting friends and family. For many, taking a summer vacation, leaving children with relatives, or taking one of your child's friends along for the ride, is common practice. Most people don’t give much thought to the idea of who can make decisions on behalf of your child or the child in your care.
So what happens if you go on vacation and leave your child under the care of a relative or family friend? What happens if you are thousands of miles away and someone has to make a parenting decision on behalf of your child? This is where powers of attorney come into play. With a properly drafted power of attorney document, you can delegate your parenting responsibilities and decision-making authority to those who may need it.
There are a few specific elements to think about when considering a power of attorney. First, what type of decision-making authority do you wish to pass on? Second, who is receiving the authority from you? Third, should the decision-making authority only last while you are on vacation and lapse upon your return?
Additionally, if you plan on taking someone else’s child with you on summer vacation, it may be necessary for you to obtain a power of attorney from that child’s parents. For example, if your daughter wants to bring her friend along, you may want to ask the child’s parents for a power of attorney for childcare. If you don’t have such an authorization, it could be more difficult to provide the child with the care they need.
Your summer vacation awaits but before you head off into the sunset, make sure all of your legal documents are lined up. Although chances are good that nothing will happen to you or your loved ones, you don’t want to take the risk that something could go wrong and that the people who need to make urgent decisions can’t.