Parents of young children relying on friends or family to take care of their children while they take a well-deserved vacation should consider signing a delegation of parental powers before they leave. This form assures that whoever is watching the children will be able to arrange for such things as medical care and treatment should the need arise. As a grandparent, I am careful to make sure that this document is updated any time my wife and I are asked to watch our grandkids for a few days. Although I get calls for these documents every now and then, I am always surprised to hear how few people even know that something like this exists.
A delegation of parental powers is a type of power of attorney that is provided for in Michigan law (and in the laws of several other states as well) that allows a parent or guardian of a minor child or legally incapacitated individual to delegate to another person, for a period not exceeding 6 months, any of the parent’s or guardian’s powers regarding the care, custody or property of the minor child or legally incapacitated person. The only limitations on the powers that can be granted are that they do not include the power to consent to marriage or adoption.
Although the statute does not provide a lot of detail, through experience, the attorneys at Wright Beamer have found a delegation of parental powers that includes the following provisions to be the most useful:
• The names and addresses of the parents;
• The full legal names and dates of birth of each child;
• The names, addresses and phone numbers of the individuals to whom the parental powers are being delegated (your “agents”);
• The scope of powers granted, both generally and specifically;
• The name(s), address(es) and phone number(s) of the children’s doctor(s), being sure to designate who has custody of the medical records;
• The name of the health care insurance carrier, and policy numbers;
• A statement that you, as opposed to your agent, will be responsible for any expenses; and
• A statement that the powers granted will expire in 6 months.
In an effort to insure acceptance, we then provide for the execution of the document in the presence of 2 witnesses, one of whom is a notary.
Planning a trip? Not taking the kids? Give us a call. We’d be happy to help. (With the document that is; not the kids.)