Do you have a legal Guardian named for your children?
If the answer is no then you should know that…
- That in the case of an emergency and your child needs medical attention that the facility that your child has been taken to may not assist because you have not given permission.
- That in the case of an emergency your child will be taken to the police department and then most likely to child protective services.
- That in the case of an emergency your child’s guardian will need to be chosen by a court of law and may not be the person you want to be guardian (Parent Ex-Spouse Sibling In-Law).
- That in case of an emergency your child will not have access to funds and that they will need to be provided with shelter and care most likely by the state of California.
Sort-Term Guardian for Minor Children and Durable Healthcare Power of Appointment
If you leave your children with a babysitter non family member you will need to create a nomination of a short-term Guardianship. The form can be found here.
Short Term Guardian should be located in the Town you live, should be very familiar with your children and be informed about You and your extended family and who is the permanent Guardian. You should also have a backup just in case the first Short term guardian is indisposed or can not be reached. Guardians can also be a couple, so you can nominate married or non-married couples to be your guardian.
Guardian of the Person
Guardian of the person is someone who takes the legal responsibility of providing shelter, food, medical care and safety of that person. The person needs this help because they have not attained the legal age of 18, they are incapacitated, or they do not have enough mental well being to safely take care of themselves or they are physical disabled and can not safely take care of themselves.
Guardian of the Estate
When a person owns significant property such as Real Estate, Cash Accounts and securities(401 K, stocks, IRA) but they are a minor, incapacitated or physically disabled the court must appoint a person to be in charge of that person’s assets for their own protection and make sure that the person actually receives the property and is protected for their use. The court not only appoints but investigates that person and requires that the Guardian file accountings until the person turns 18 or is no longer in need of assistance.
A good Estate Planning Attorney will have every family that they serve file a short-term guardianship provision as well as provide for a permanent Guardian nomination in case of Death. It is impossible at times to completely avoid court intervention but having documentation of why you choose your guardian and why you would choose not to have someone be your Guardian of your child provides evidence and gives guidance so that your child is safe and comfortable moving forward in extreme cases.
Law Office of James A. Zakasky
50 Old Courthouse Square, Suite 605 Santa Rosa, Ca 95404
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