Properly naming guardians for your children is not as easy as it seems! There are several types of guardians that should be named. Are you sure you have properly named (all of the) guardians? Contact us so we can help you protect your children!
Are Your Children Protected...Really?
by Kimberly Jean Brown
You and your husband are preparing to throw your best friend a “welcome to our city party”. You are overjoyed: your friend is moving to your city because she landed a great, new job! You and your husband have a few remaining items to pick up from the store, but your 4-year-old daughter doesn’t want to go with you. Instead, she wants to stay home and play with your sister.
Your daughter is so happy to have your sister around since your sister and your parents live out-of-state and your daughter doesn’t get to see them often. Plus, this is your sister’s first trip to visit you by herself (she’s 14 and she’s acting so mature these days!) Since you and your husband only plan to be gone 20 minutes or so, you agree to let your daughter stay with your sister.
Unfortunately, things don't go according to plan. On your way to the store your car is broadsided by a semi-truck, killing your husband immediately and leaving you critically injured and in a coma.
When you don’t arrive back home, your sister calls both your and your husband's mobile phones at least a dozen times. She is terrified, so she calls the police. The police arrive and inform your sister of the accident, your husband’s death and your critical status. The police ask her whether there has been a short-term guardian appointed. Your sister tells them no. Your sister calls your mom who makes plans to fly to town on the next plane, but her flight won’t arrive for another 13 hours. You are new to the area and your mom hasn’t met any of your friends who can care for your daughter and your sister until your mom’s arrival.
Since your sister and your daughter are both minors, the police are forced to take them into custody and they have to spend the night in temporary housing. To make the situation even worse, the authorities have to separate them because they don’t have room for the two of them in the same temporary home. Terrified and alone, your sister and daughter are separated and have to wait for your mom's arrival to rescue them from protective custody. DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!
Would the outcome be different if a short-term guardian had been appointed? Not necessarily.
Rewind this story a bit:
You've named short-term guardians, but you didn't mention this to you sister. When you don't arrive back home, your sister is terrified and calls the police. The police arrive and inform your sister of what happened. They ask if there’s a short-term guardian. Your sister has only been in town a couple of days and you hadn’t thought to tell her that your friend in the apartment downstairs is your daughter’s short-term guardian. Plus, you don’t have the information posted anywhere so your sister and daughter are taken into custody. This demonstrates that the same result could happen even if you have appointed a short-term guardian.
TIP: Post the names and phone numbers of short-term guardians in a conspicuous place (such as on the refrigerator). Notify sitters where the information is posted. If you don’t arrive back home as expected, have the sitter call the short-term guardians first before calling the police. Create a game plan with the short-term guardians to ensure that the short-term guardians arrive prior to the police. The short-term guardians should have a copy of the guardian appointment form accessible.
Appointing short-term guardians and nominating permanent guardians for your children is easy and straightforward if you know the steps involved. Failure to properly plan for your children can have devastating results.
Contact us today to schedule your no-cost, legacy building consultation to discuss naming guardians for your children.
Protecting Legacies LLC
This website is an advertisement and the information on it is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this website should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.