Helping Grandparents Care for Grandkids

It’s a scenario Georgians (really, people throughout the world) face all to often – an obstacle or challenge arises which is so difficult that parents are unable to care for their own children for a period of time. What should a parent, or grandparent who wants to help, do in such a situation?

Until very recently, in Georgia, the grandparents would need to seek temporary guardianship in order to really, effectively provide full care for a grandchild. However, effective July 1, 2008, Georgia parents and grandparents can use a Power of Attorney for the Care of a Minor Child to help bridge this gap.

If the parent or parents with legal custody of a minor child suffer one or more of the following hardships, this type of power of attorney may be helpful (this list is not exclusive):

(1) A parent being unable to provide care due to the death of the other parent;
(2) A serious illness or terminal illness of a parent;
(3) The physical or mental condition of the parent or the child such that proper care and supervision of the child cannot be provided by the parent;
(4) The incarceration of a parent;
(5) The loss or uninhabitability of the child´s home as the result of a natural disaster; or
(6) A period of active military duty of a parent exceeding 24 months.

Once in place, the Power of Attorney for the Care of a Minor Child will authorize the grandparents to do the following:

(1) Enroll the child in school and in extracurricular activities;
(2) Enroll the child in any health insurance program offered to the grandparent;
(3) Provide access to school records and may disclose the contents to others;
(4) Arrange for and consent to medical, dental, and mental health treatment for the child;
(5) Provide access to medical, dental, and mental health records and may disclose the contents thereof to others;
(6) Provide for the child´s food, lodging, housing, recreation, and travel; and
(7) Any additional powers as specified by the parent.

This power of attorney may be revoked at any time by the parent(s) who granted it.

As with all parenting issues, every situation (and every child) is different. This type of power of attorney is just one more tool in the toolbox for parents and grandparents working to provide the best possible care for the children they love.

Please visit us at today for more information about how best to protect your family, your business, yourself, and your assets.


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