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Power of attorney for Step Kids?

Canajoharie, NY |

Is it possible for me, the kids step mom, to be assigned power of attorney for the kids by their father who has Sole physical and legal custody over them?
Their Biological mother has not been in their lives for a few years and is in and out of jail. I have been in their lives acting as their mother for almost their whole lives. We have looked into adoption but she will not voluntarily sign off her parental rights and the fight would just be too expensive.
We were wondering if Power of Attorney would be the answer that way I could get them emergency care and deal with the legal school issues if my husband were unavailable.
We had heard of someone in a different state doing this but we didn't know if it was something we could do in NY or not.
Thank you for any and all responses.

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer
Posted

A power of attorney will not work, nor will guardianship as the nother will have to agree to that as well. The only thing that you can try is a notarized letter from the father indicating that you have authority to make decisions in his absence. Then it would be up to whatever institution or individual to decide if they will allow you to make those decisions.

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Asker

Posted

Oh, that is disappointing! Is there anything I can do to ensure that custody be with me in the event something were to happen to my husband?

Lawrence Allen Weinreich

Lawrence Allen Weinreich

Posted

Unfortunately not. A natral parent has a superior right to custody over everyone else. Unless the mother wants to give you guardianship or custody there isn't much that can be done.

Asker

Posted

Although that's not what I wanted to hear that is what I assumed, thank you.

Lawrence Allen Weinreich

Lawrence Allen Weinreich

Posted

You are welcome.

Posted

A power of attorney will not get you what you want. A power of attorney will only give you authority to act on behalf of someone when it comes to assets and finances. What you want is a guardianship. You can have your husband simply sign a guardianship affidavit or give you authorization to act on their behalf with respect to school and medical issues. This is very easy to do and incredibly inexpensive. In fact, for physicians, your husband need sign an authorization that can be provided by the physicians office indicating that you are authorized to act on behalf of the children.

Asker

Posted

For a guardianship affidavit would we have to go to court? Would the biological mother have to be informed or agree?

Maria C. Tebano

Maria C. Tebano

Posted

No, it would be just an affidavit signed by your husband and no, she would not have to be informed, since your husband has sole custody.

Asker

Posted

Great thank you very much!

Maria C. Tebano

Maria C. Tebano

Posted

Your welcome. The school may have something you can use and the physicians is easy, they just need your husband to sign a HIPPA authorization and then you should be all set.

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