Empowering Guardianship: Understanding Delegation of Powers by Parents or Guardians

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Utah law recognizes that parents or guardians may need to temporarily delegate certain powers regarding care, custody, or property to another individual through a properly-executed power of attorney. This legal mechanism, outlined in Section 75-5-103 of the Utah Code, provides flexibility and support to families in navigating various circumstances. Let’s explore what this delegation of powers entails and how it can benefit families in need.

What is Delegation of Powers by Parents or Guardians?

Delegation of powers by parents or guardians allows them to transfer certain responsibilities and decision-making authority to another individual for a specified period, not exceeding six months. These powers typically include matters related to the care, custody, or property of the minor child or ward. However, it’s important to note that certain powers, such as the authority to consent to marriage or adoption of a minor ward, cannot be delegated through this process.

Key Considerations

  • Temporary Nature: The delegation of powers through a power of attorney is temporary and is intended to provide short-term support to parents or guardians facing unique circumstances. It offers flexibility without permanently altering parental or guardianship rights.
  • Scope of Delegated Powers: While parents or guardians can delegate various powers, including decisions related to schooling, the authority to make major life-changing decisions such as marriage or adoption remains with the parent or guardian and cannot be transferred through this process.

Benefits of Delegation of Powers

  • Flexibility: Delegation of powers allows parents or guardians to seek assistance and support from trusted individuals, such as family members or close friends, during times of need without relinquishing their parental or guardianship rights permanently.
  • Continuity of Care: In situations where parents or guardians may be temporarily unable to fulfill their responsibilities, such as due to illness, travel, or military deployment, delegation of powers ensures that the care and welfare of the minor child or ward are maintained without disruption.
  • Customization: Parents or guardians have the flexibility to tailor the delegation of powers to suit their specific needs and circumstances. They can specify the duration of the delegation, the scope of powers transferred, and any other relevant details in the power of attorney document.


Delegation of powers by parents or guardians through a properly-executed power of attorney is a valuable legal tool that provides temporary support and assistance to families facing unique challenges. Whether it’s due to illness, travel, or other circumstances, this process allows parents or guardians to ensure the continued care and well-being of their minor children or wards. If you’re considering delegating powers through a power of attorney, it’s essential to consult with an experienced Utah family law attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

At Ellsworth Law Firm, we understand the complexities of family law and are here to provide compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance. Contact us today to learn more about delegation of powers and how we can assist you in navigating this process effectively.