The minor power of attorney allows a parent to choose someone else, usually a relative, to be the caretaker of their child for a temporary period. This is regulated by each State’s guardianship laws and commonly has a maximum period of one (1) year. The form should be authorized in accordance with State law which, in most cases, required the principal to sign the document in the presence of a notary public. Upon the principal’s authorization, the agent will need to use the form every time a public or private institution requests verification.

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Forms – By State

Table of Contents

What is Power of Attorney for a Minor?

A minor power of attorney gives parenting rights to someone else for a temporary time period without the need to go to court. The designation is meant for short-term situations such as babysitting, travel, military service or any other reason the parents would be away from the child. The agent may need to present this document when performing their duties such as picking up the child from school, seeking medical care, or upon request by any institution.

How to Get Minor Power of Attorney

Obtaining temporary guardianship rights with a power of attorney may be completed by following State laws and having the parent(s) sign. After completing, the agent will be required to show the form with each use.

Step 1 – Decide the Caretaker

The most important step is the first (1st). Selecting the caretaker for the child. This person will have rights to pick up the child from school, decide and make medical decisions, and most rights the parent holds themselves. Therefore, it’s best to elect someone that is family or a long-time friend of the parents.

Step 2 – Discuss the Details

After deciding the caretaker, its time to discuss the limits to their powers and what their duties will be. In addition, the caretaker should be made aware when the position starts and ends. In most States, the designation cannot be made for more than one (1) year.

Step 3 – Authorize the Document

Once the terms and conditions are complete, the document is ready to be signed. This is determined by State law and usually involves the principal signing in front of a notary public. The caretaker, known as the agent, will be required to sign and may have to authorize a certification acknowledging their responsibilities.

Signing Requirements – By State

  • AL – Notary Public
  • AK – Notary Public
  • AZ – Witness & Notary Public
  • AR – Notary Public
  • CA – Notary Public or Two (2) Witnesses
  • CO – Notary Public
  • CT – Two (2) Witnesses, Notarization Recommended
  • DE – Notary Public
  • FL – Notary Public and Two (2) Witnesses
  • GA – Notary Public
  • HI – Notary Public
  • ID – Notary Public
  • IL – One (1) Witness (for Health Care Powers)
  • IN – Notary Public
  • IA – Notary Public
  • KS – Notary Public
  • KY – Notary Public
  • LA – Two (2) Witnesses and Notary Public
  • ME – Notary Public
  • MD – Two (2) Witnesses and Notary Public
  • MA – Two (2) Witnesses, Notarization Recommended
  • MI – Two (2) Witnesses and/or Notary Public
  • MN – Two (2) Witnesses
  • MS – Notary Public
  • MO – Notary Public
  • MT – Notary Public
  • NE – Notary Public
  • NV – Notary Public
  • NH – Notary Public
  • NJ – Two (2) Witnesses
  • NM – Notary Public
  • NY – Notary Public
  • NC – Notary Public
  • ND – Notarization Recommended
  • OH – Notary Public
  • OK – Notary Public
  • OR – Notarization Recommended
  • PA – Notary Public and Two (2) Witnesses
  • RI – Notary Public
  • SC – Notary and Two (2) Witnesses
  • SD – Notarization Recommended
  • TN – Notary Public
  • TX – Two (2) Witnesses
  • UT – Notary Public
  • VT – Notarization Recommended
  • VA – Notary Public and Witness
  • WA – Notary Public or Two (2) Witnesses
  • WV – Notary Public
  • WI – Notary Public
  • WY – Notary Public

Step 4 – Using the Document

After signing, the agent may begin conducting their duties by presenting the completed document. While the form is valid, the agent may make decisions deemed to be in the best interest of the child and within their detailed powers. At the request of the parent and at any time, the document may be canceled by authorizing a revocation form.

Minor Power of Attorney Laws – By State

Can a Minor be Given Power of Attorney?

The short answer is no. Due to the legal requirement in most States that an agent must be at least eighteen (18) years of age a minor cannot be given power of attorney. Ultimately, this is determined by State law. If a State does not hold an age restriction to the requirement of an agent then a child may be allowed to act as the agent.

Sample Template

Download (PDF, 122KB)

How to Write

Download: Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word (.docx)

1 – Download This Paperwork To Designate Your Attorney-in-Fact With Guardian Powers Over A Minor

The template produced when you select one of the buttons near the image (Adobe PDF or MS Word) or the links above can be used to document your intentions of naming an individual with the parental powers you have over a minor in your charge. Download the file of your choice, then open it when you are ready to fill it out.

 

2 – Each Party Involved With This Authority Must Be Clearly Identified

The first three articles of this appointment will deal strictly with identifying the concerned Minor (child), Parent(s)/Guardian(s), and intended Attorney-in-Fact. We will need to identify each of these entities before proceeding thus, locate the first blank line in the statement labeled “1. The Minor” and fill in the name of the Minor (child) who will be placed in the charge of the Attorney-in-Fact. Solidify the identity of this child by recording his or her date of birth using the last two empty spaces. You should now attend to the second statement (titled “2. The Parent(s)/Guardian(s)”). You, as the legal Parent or Guardian, must submit your full name to the blank space after “I/We” in this statement. If there is a Co-Parent or Co-Guardian, that individual’s name must also be supplied to this article. Once you have submitted your name, you will have to check either the “Parent” checkbox or the “Court-Appointed Guardian” checkbox to indicate your status then supply your home address across the last three blank spaces. The individual you will authorize to wield the same parental powers you hold over the Minor (child) will also need to have his or her role assigned in writing through this document. To identify this individual and grant him or her such power, you must turn your attention to the third article (“3. Attorney-in-Fact”). Here, you must input the full name of the Attorney-in-Fact on the blank space (after the word “Appoint”) then report the nature of the relationship he or she has with the child on the next blank space. Once you have satisfied these tasks, supply the full home address of the Attorney-in-Fact as a “Street Address,” “City,” and “State” to the last three spaces.

 

3 – Apply Your Preferences To The Extent Of The Granted Principal Guardian Powers

The level of principal authority you wish the Attorney-in-Fact to wield in your name over the Minor should be detailed so no confusion on this matter exists. If you would like the Attorney-in-Fact to exhibit the full level of guardianship over the Minor (child) that the law will allow, then you must initial the blank space attached to the “All Legal Authority…” statement. Alternately, if you will only authorize certain actions in this regard, then initial the space preceding the statement “Only The Authority To” and use the blank lines to describe exactly what the Attorney-in-Fact is allowed to do with guardian powers over the Minor. You may only initial one of these statements so that it can be applied to this document. In article, “5. Effective Date,” we must define when you wish the authority appointed here becomes active and when it will terminate. To begin this process, fill in the first calendar date you wish the Attorney-in-Fact to be authorized to act in your name when in charge of the Minor. Here, too, you must initial the statements you wish applied. If you wish the principal authority defined above to automatically terminate then initial the blank space before “On The Date Of” and supply the termination date to the blank spaces following this term. You can also set these powers to terminate should you become disabled or pass away by initialing the second or third statements (respectively).

 

4 – The Effect Of This Paperwork Is Only Valid When It Is Properly Executed

The last article that requires some supplementary information will be article “6. Governing Law.” Here, you must fill in the state where this appointment of authority will be considered effective and whose courts will hold those involved with this document accountable for their actions when necessary. Produce the name of this state on the blank line in this article. This document must be signed in a manner that satisfies the state where it was signed. You may refer to the table on this page to familiarize yourself with such requirements. You may need Witnesses present at the time of signing, a Notary Public, or both depending on your location. The one mandatory action that must occur in all cases is the principal act of signing. Each Parent or Guardian must sign a unique signature line (labeled “Parent/Guardian Signature”), print his or her name, and submit his or her date of signature. Two separate signature areas have been reserved for this party in case more than one individual is required to sign here. Once each Parent/Guardian has signed this paperwork, it should be turned over to the Attorney-in-Fact. The Attorney-in-Fact has been given an “Acknowledgment By Attorney-in-Fact” statement to tend to. This party must read the contents of this section, then sign his or her name to prove his or her intention to honor this paperwork. After signing, the Attorney-in-Fact must also print his or her name and deliver the current date as the signature date.  In our example, this paperwork is being drafted in and will apply in the State of Rhode Island, thus a Notary Public is required. However, many would lend this paperwork more credence if the signing was witnessed in a provable way. To this end the two Witnesses present should each provide his or her name to the first blank line of one of the “Affirmation By Witness…” statements then tender his or her signature, printed name, and signature date as proof that this statement is true. Two such statements, one for each Witness, has been included here so each one will have a distinct area to work with. The last party to control this paperwork during the execution process is the Notary Public in attendance. This individual will verify the details requested in the “Notary Acknowledgment” section as a part of the notarization process then, finally submit his or her seal.