Parents: Traveling for the Holidays? Don’t Forget This

The most wonderful time of the year is also the most stressful time for many people. Parents and those who are traveling out of state or country might be especially on edge. 

Still, making preparations ahead of time can do wonders to tamp down the holiday stress. If you are a parent who will be hundreds of miles away (or farther) from your children for an extended period of time, the issue of decision-making for your kids is not something to overlook.

To be clear, this legal consideration is distinct from the person who will be caring for your child, taking them to school, and fulfilling other practical needs. You also need someone, whom you trust, to make important and time-sensitive decisions related to your child’s wellbeing. That adult could very well be the same person who will house your child, but you need to make it clear–in writing.

Which Legal Document(s) Do You Need?

It’s possible you need more than one to cover all your bases. As a Florida parent, you will likely need a healthcare surrogate for a minor document, which is a form of an advance directive. The purpose of a healthcare surrogate is to make decisions for a child or adult who is incapacitated. If, in the worst-case scenario, your child gets seriously injured in an auto accident or other serious event, their healthcare surrogate would be able to approve essential medical treatment.

Again, it is important to arrange for this document well ahead of time. It will need to be signed by you and any other guardians for your child. While not legally required, it is a good idea to speak with your child about the arrangement and let them know that their surrogate will take care of them in case of emergency.

Other decisions, which are thankfully not classified as emergencies, might also need to be made while you are away. Whether something comes with routine medical illnesses (it is flu season, after all), school, or after-school activities, your child could also need a power of attorney. Like a health care surrogate for a minor document, a power of attorney for a child in Florida does not transfer custody or take away your parental rights. 

It will, however, allow another adult to make decisions that he or she is allowed to make under the legal arrangement. That might sound self-explanatory, but flexibility and customization are one of the best features of powers of attorney. Beyond medical consent, your child might also need a trusted adult to make important financial decisions.

Estate planning described in this blog is not solely reserved for parents who are traveling this holiday season. Life is full of surprises, and you never know when you might need that trusted friend or family member to assume administrative parenting duties for your child. Whatever your reason, our firm is committed to figuring out the best solution for you and your family. Call us at (305) 285-0285 or fill out a form to get started with our caring legal team today.

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Zamora, Hillman & Villavicencio

Our firm deals with legal matters involving your loved ones, and our familial operation is prepared to give you caring and effective counsel during what might be a difficult or emotional time.

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