Your Itinerary: A room for two, sleeping in, quietness and no diaper bag to schlep, puzzles to assemble or game consoles to charge. What could be better than a weekend away without the kids? But then than nagging feeling sinks in again – what if something happens and you still haven’t picked a guardian for your kids. Or, worse yet, you have a guardian selected and haven’t formally written it down.
Tip: Get it over with. Select a guardian. Have an attorney formalize your decision.
The alternative: A judge gets to pick who takes care of your kids.
If you already have a guardian selected, make a call to an attorney and simply memorialize your decision. Make sure you also have a few alternate guardians to nominate, as well.
Plan for a Stopover
If you haven’t a clue who should be your kids’ guardian, it’s time to plan a meeting with an attorney to discuss your options. You and your spouse may want to prepare a list of all of the people who could possibly take care of your children in the event you are unable. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you to narrow down your choices based on factors such as age, health, living situations, values, parenting styles, etc. After meeting with the attorney, you and your spouse can finalize your decision and sign your guardianship designation.
Changes to Guardianship Plans Permitted
You should remember that the guardian you designate can be changed over time. We encourage clients to consider the guardian that would be best if your kids required a guardian in the next three to five years. As with all estate planning documents, you should review your guardianship designation at least annually to make sure that it reflects your current wishes.
Enjoy the Trip
Leaving your kids is always tough. Designating a guardian can be very difficult, as well. But with the peace of mind of knowing that your kids will have a guardian if the unthinkable happens, you may find that parting from the kids for that much-needed vacation is just a little bit easier. So to all my fellow hardworking parents out there: Enjoy your time off, you deserve it. Just put “Designation of Guardian” on your packing list and get it taken care of before you go. You deserve total peace of mind.