Most parents understand how important it is to name Guardians for their minor children through a Will for the unfortunate situation of both parents passing away. However, many parents put off doing their Wills because they believe that their extended families will simply care for their children and work out the details if that situation ever arose. Most of us believe that such a situation will never happen to us, and we don’t like to think about these terrible events occurring. Yet it is important to plan for these events because we want to make sure our children are adequately taken care of if something were to happen to us – and it is much easier and less stressful for your family if you have laid out Guardians through your Will.
Many of us, however, do nothing more than name Guardians in our Wills. But what happens if both parents are in a car accident and cannot care for their children. What if both parents end up in a coma? Or what happens to the minor children during the interim period between the death of both parents and when a probate appointment can occur to probate your Wills and formally have the Guardians appointed? That interim period could be weeks. What if your child needs medical attention during that time and no one has been appointed to make medical decisions for your child?
The most adequate answer to this issue in Virginia is to execute an Appointment of a Short Term Guardian. This Short Term Guardian would become the child’s guardian during such times if both parents are unable to care for the child because of hospitalization or during that interim time if both parents have passed away. This appointment also should include various authorizations to allow the Short Term Guardian to authorize medical treatment for the minor child and to be able to view the minor child’s medical records.
We know you want to protect your children from any possible adverse circumstances. Planning for the unknown is one way to protect them.
This blog is only for informational purposes. Please remember this is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is special and more information would be needed to provide you the best legal advice possible.