Guardianship allows a person to legally make decisions on another’s behalf. Guardians are typically appointed when a minor child needs to be cared for by someone other than a parent. There are circumstances, however, when the appointment of a guardian may not be necessary. In this regard, it is important to be aware of available legal alternatives to guardianship. For example, parents may want to choose a person for a specified period of time to care for their children while they receive medical treatment. In this situation, if both parents are in agreement, they can avoid going to court to appoint a guardian and do one of the following instead:
- Sign a Power of Attorney in front of a notary that gives another adult “physical custody” of the child. This will allow the person to make medical and educational decisions on the child’s behalf; or
- Sign a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit and have it notarized.
Read on to learn about the alternatives to guardianship in California that may help you provide for the care of your minor child on a temporary basis.
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What is a Guardianship Power of Attorney?
A guardianship power of attorney is one of the alternatives to guardianship that gives another person (the attorney-in-fact) legal powers and authorization to make decisions for a minor. More importantly, this document can put specific limitations and boundaries on the actions of the attorney-in-fact. For example, the guardianship power of attorney document can allow the attorney-in-fact to make health care, educational, and other decisions on behalf of their children on a temporary basis.
Contact us if you need to prepare a guardianship power of attorney form. We can create the documents you need to have notarized to create a legally binding power of attorney document.
What is a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit?
One of the alternatives to guardianship that involves school-related activities is completing a caregiver’s authorization. Specifically, this type of authorization affidavit allows a relative of the child to enroll him/her in school without that person being legally appointed by a court as the child’s legal guardian. For example, the person also can make medical decisions for the child. As one of the alternatives to guardianship, a child’s non-relatives can also sign an affidavit, but their right to make decisions for the child’s medical care will be restricted. For instance, non-relatives are only authorized to make medical care decisions that are school related. Keep in mind, the Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit is not a court document and can be canceled by either parent at any time. Furthermore, the caregiver must promptly notify the school if he/she is no longer acting in such a role.
Sarah requests Elizabeth, her sister, to oversee her child’s educational needs while she recovers from a severe medical condition. In this case, Elizabeth signed the caregiver’s authorization affidavit and had the document notarized. Next, she provided the document to Sarah’s son’s school which the school accepted. Afterward, Elizabeth requested that the school list her as the primary point of contact for the next sixty days. Upon the sixty-day period expiration, Sarah can revoke the affidavit and resume her responsibilities as a parent.
Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to complete the above referenced documents. Keep in mind, we can also help you complete and file documents to appoint a court-appointed guardian in California.
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