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Why Appointing Guardians for Minor Children is needed?

After years of struggling with infertility, Megan and Brandon Ahart made the decision to begin IVF treatment, and finally became pregnant after almost a year of undergoing intense treatment. They were overwhelmed with joy and love when Megan saw her positive pregnancy test, as the couple had wanted to become parents ever since they got married four years ago. On November 10, 2018, Megan gave birth to two beautiful children: fraternal twins Kendall and Josh.

Brandon was a successful software engineer, but his job required him to travel frequently, and he had to spend anywhere from a weekend up to two weeks away on business every month. This meant that Megan had to act as the sole parent to their children while Brandon was away. Both of their families lived on the East Coast, unfortunately leaving Megan with little to no help with childcare for the young twins when Brandon was away.

Every Tuesday morning, Megan would leave for her yoga class while the twins were with their speech therapist, and pick them up on her way home; on this particular Tuesday, however, Megan did not return to pick the twins up from their session. Megan had an undetected, hidden, and waiting brain aneurysm that exploded during her yoga class. Brandon was away on one of his work trips, and would not be back for another two weeks. 

After 2 hours of waiting and calling Megan multiple times with no answer, Christine, the childrens’ speech therapist, called the police to let them know that Megan had not picked the twins up yet. When the police arrive, they ask Christine if she knew of any family members or relatives that may be in town who could take the twins–Christine did not. In fact, Christine had never even met Brandon before–she had no idea that he was away on a work trip. Her sole contact for the children was Megan. Police Officer Rodriguez nods, tells Christine “we’ll take it from here,” and drives off with the young twins.

Kendall and Josh are only 4 years old and they have no idea what is going on. They are understandably confused, scared, and just want to see their parents. Officer Rodriguez takes the twins to Child Protective Services, who will be responsible for Kendall and Josh’s care until they can locate Megan, Brandon, or another family member, and run necessary background checks to release the twins to that person. Unfortunately, Megan is comatose in the hospital, Brandon is overseas making locating him very difficult, and none of their family members live in Texas. Christine offers to watch the children overnight because she knows the twins, but Officer Rodriguez tells her she is not allowed to, and that the kids will remain in CPS custody until they can get things “sorted out.”

Kendall and Josh remained in CPS custody for 3 nights until Brandon was able to get a flight home and pick his children up. For 3 nights, the young twins were scared, alone, and confused. Already grieving the loss of Megan, this lack of a chosen Guardian for the children made this an extremely stressful time for the family. 

How Appointing Guardians to Minor Children Works

While we cannot control the accidents that may happen to us at every given moment, we can control what will happen to our minor children in the event of an unexpected accident. With effective estate planning, you can appoint a Guardian to care for your children in the event that you become incapacitated or are otherwise unable to care for your children. You can choose a trusted individual to take care of your children as their Guardian, as well as provide guidelines for your Guardian in terms of how to care for your children–education, lifestyle, religion, and other matters that you deem important to your children’s care and well-being.

Springdale Law Group is one of a few law firms that ensure the well-being and future of yourself and your family by assisting in drafting, reviewing, and finalizing your Child Protection Plan. In addition to our estate planning services, we include a Family Emergency ID card in your package that lists the names of your child(ren), your chosen Guardian who will care for your child(ren) if you are suddenly unable to, and your chosen Guardian’s contact information. You can carry this ID card in your wallet so that if you are in an accident, the police will find the card on your person and will be able to contact your Guardian to take care of your children. This prevents your children from being subjected to the custody of Child Protective Services, and will allow them to stay with a person that they know and are comfortable with. 

Contact Springdale Law Group

Contact an experienced Estate Planning Attorney to create a plan that provides for your minor children’s care in the event of your unexpected death or incapacity. As a comprehensive estate planning firm, we are proud to provide this essential service to individuals, and will always ensure that your minor children are taken care of through your estate planning documents. Our team is fluent in English, Chinese, and Spanish and can assist with Estate Planning in all 50 states. Don’t leave your own future to chance.

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