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What is a childcare power of attorney?

As a parent, you would do anything for your children. But sometimes, even the most devoted parents must spend time away from their children for extended periods of time. Whether you are in the military, you share custody with your partner or you must travel for work, you sometimes have to spent time away from your children.

You worry about what would happen to your child if you were not there to make important decisions on their behalf. If your child were injured or needed an adult’s signature for an important form, who would act on their behalf? This is where a childcare power of attorney comes in.

Understanding a childcare power of attorney

A child’s parent or legal guardian can create a childcare power of attorney to give another adult—perhaps a relative or a close friend— the authority to make important decisions regarding a child.

If you are not physically present, a childcare power of attorney allows another trusted adult to:

  • Sign medical, legal and financial documents on your behalf
  • Authorize medical care for the child
  • Set school schedules, pick a child up from school or enroll them in extracurricular activities or sports
  • Access the child’s bank account or other assets

These legal documents can be very helpful to parents who must take time away from their children. Even if you do not have to spend time apart from your kids, a childcare power of attorney is very useful. If you are rendered incapacitated, it allows someone you trust to make decisions regarding your children.

To make a childcare power of attorney, many people work with a nearby attorney. You can discuss the ins and outs of these documents in greater detail, and learn whether it is right for you and your family.

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