Have your minor children ever taken a trip without you with grandparents or a favorite aunt? Have you ever taken a special week get-a-way with your spouse without your young children, leaving them with trusted friends or relatives? Can you always guarantee that you will have decent and connected cell phone service or email connections in the event a medical emergency occurs with one of your children? Most of us would answer YES to the first two questions but NO to the third, especially if a trip is taken in the mountains or on a ship.
If you are unavailable by phone, fax or internet and your child has a medical emergency or has a serious accident requiring surgery, who can sign for any needed medical treatment? The simplest and least stressful answer involves thinking ahead and executing a medical power of attorney authorizing those persons taking care of your children to make those medical decisions on your behalf if you are unavailable. True, you must make sure that you select someone you trust absolutely, but creating a medical power of attorney in advance gives you more time to enjoy your time away from the children. If the children are taking just a short trip with a favorite relative, you can give the power for only that short period of time. If you take frequent trips with your spouse, like I used to, and you have individuals (friends or parents) that you trust in all circumstances, you can give a broader durable medical power of attorney to them unlimited as to time while your children are minors.
If you would like more information on the types of powers that can be included in a medical power of attorney, please call one of our Estate Planning attorneys at 941.748.0100.