Vacations Gone Bad

How Delegating Parental Powers Can Be Critical

With summer vacation time upon us, despite our Covid-19 world, many people are hitting the road or jumping on a plane.

It is not uncommon to have minor children go on vacation with another family or go on a trip with a sports team or marching band.

What Happens When the Unexpected Happens?

Case Study: Your 15-year old daughter, Susie, is going with her best friend Jill and her family on a cross country trip to the Grand Canyon. With Susie gone, you and your spouse decide to head to France on a second honeymoon.

On the way to the Grand Canyon, they stop off to see the world’s largest ball of twine in Kansas. Susie and Jill decide to video themselves doing a dance routine they can post on Tik-Tok. While rehearsing, Jill accidentally trips Susie and she falls down a flight of stairs where she suffers a compound leg fracture.

An ambulance is called, and they rush Susie to a local medical facility in a small town. However, the medical center is not equipped to perform this type of surgery and she gets airlifted to Kansas City for emergency surgery.

Jill’s parents are panicked and frantically try to call you. However, after visiting the Eiffel Tower, drinking red wine all day, and a 7-hour time difference, they can’t reach you.

Questions:

  1. Do Jill’s parents have the authority to put Susie on a helicopter to be airlifted?
  2. Do they have the authority to allow the surgery to take place?
  3. What happens if decisions must be made about her care?
  4. What if Susie doesn’t have any health insurance information with her?

Helping Avoid Disasters is What I do

These scenarios may not happen often, but when they do it is a mess.

Solution:

Wisconsin has a law (Wisc. Statute 48.979) that allows for “Delegation of Power by Parent”. In other words, you can transfer parental rights on a short-term basis for situations just like this.

The form must be properly drafted, signed and witnessed, but allows for the following:

HEALTH CARE DECISIONS DELEGATED AS FOLLOWS:

€ The power to consent to all health care; or

€ The power to consent to only the following health care:

€ Ordinary or routine health care, excluding major surgical procedures, extraordinary procedures, and experimental treatment

€ Emergency blood transfusion

€ Dental care

€ Disclosure of health information about the child(ren)

Other Decisions Delegated as Follows:

€ The power to consent to educational and vocational services.

€ The power to consent to the employment of the child(ren).

€ The power to consent to the disclosure of confidential information, other than health information, about the child(ren).

€ The power to provide for the care and custody of the child(ren).

€ The power to consent to the child(ren) obtaining a motor vehicle operator’s license.

€ The power to travel with the child(ren) outside the state of Wisconsin.

€ The power to obtain substitute care, such as childcare, for the child(ren).

€ Other specifically delegated powers or limits on delegated powers

 

What This Form Can’t Be Used For:

  • CONSENT TO THE MARRIAGE OR ADOPTION OF THE CHILD(REN),
  • THE PERFORMANCE OR INDUCEMENT OF AN ABORTION ON OR FOR THE CHILD(REN),
  • THE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS TO THE CHILD(REN),
  • THE ENLISTMENT OF THE CHILD(REN) IN THE U.S. ARMED FORCES, OR
  • TO PLACE THE CHILD(REN) IN A FOSTER HOME, GROUP HOME, OR INPATIENT TREATMENT FACILITY.

 

Recommendations

  1. If you are sending your minor child on a trip with another family or your extended family, school group or club, have a proper “Delegation by Parent” form completed.
  2. Make sure the person or persons appointed have copies with them and they understand your thoughts & wishes if something were to happen.
  3. Make sure that you can be contacted with multiple phone numbers, emails along with names and numbers of other people who know how to reach you.
  4. Make sure your child has a copy of their insurance card with them and give a copy to the family member or group leader.

 

Now you can be assured that if something happens, your child will be properly cared for.

 

 At the Law Office of David Watson, we prevent disasters like the one I described here.

 

-Free Consultations

-We will review your situation and make recommendations

-Flat rates for most services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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