Going on vacation without kids can be a great way to recharge and enjoy some much-needed relaxation time. It allows you to focus on yourself and your partner, explore new places, try new activities, and create lasting memories together. Your kids, too, can enjoy time with a different caregiver. However, it’s important to make sure that your kids are left in good hands and that you plan accordingly to ensure a stress-free vacation.  In addition to ensuring that the right clothes are packed, devices are charged, and that special stuffies aren’t left behind, parents should consider executing a power of attorney for their minor children.

Illinois law states that the “health care powers that may be delegated to an agent include…all powers a parent may have to control or consent to health care for a minor child.” Therefore, a minor power of attorney is a legal document that allows a parent or legal guardian to grant decision-making power to another person on behalf of their minor child. This can include decisions related to medical treatment, education, and general care. A minor power of attorney is crucial if you are going to be away from your child for an extended period of time and want to ensure that someone you trust can make decisions on their behalf.

In the health care power of attorney, you can inform your agent of your preferences regarding issues that are important to you, such as the right to accept or refuse any medical treatment. To make informed decisions, your agent must have the same rights and access to your medical records as you do and should be adequately informed about your child’s medical condition, treatment alternatives, and the possible consequences.  The health care power not only assures that your wishes are carried out, but it also protects each health care provider and any other person who acts in good faith on any direction or decision by your agent.

It’s important to choose someone who you trust and who is responsible. You must have complete confidence in their ability to act in your child’s best interests. Finally, a minor power of attorney only grants decision-making power for a specific period of time. Once that time has passed, the power of attorney expires and the parent or legal guardian resumes decision-making authority.  If you would like to learn more about these documents, and how they fit into an overall estate plan, please contact Emily Rozwadowski Law, LLC at emily@emilyrozlaw.com.

Content provided by Women Belong member Emily Rozwadowski