When most people think about guardians for their minor children they think of who they would want to raise their children until they reach the age of majority (age 18). This is a good starting place. But many parents don’t realize that naming only permanent guardians leaves their children vulnerable during a critical period of time – the short-term.
Imagine you finally get a night out with your partner or your friends. You get a babysitter, dress up for the first time in ages, and see that movie that everyone’s been talking about. Then, when you’re on your way home, you're in a serious car accident. The police show up with a hoard of emergency vehicles and search your belongings to find out who you are the where you live. An officer is dispatched to your home to ensure that everything there is okay – the same place where your children are watching Paw Patrol on the couch next to the lanky teenage babysitter scrolling away on her smart phone.
When the doorbell rings at that moment, do you know what happens to your children?
There is a plan for what happens next, but it’s not one that you’ll like. Because in the absence of there being an express legal plan in place for the babysitter to offer over to the police, they have no choice but to call the Department of Children and Families. The officers can’t leave your children with the babysitter or call your neighbors to ensure that your children are safe - they cannot risk their only liability. They have no alternative but to contact a state agency to take your children.
The good news is that we can provide an alternative that will prevent your children from ever entering into the DCF system if something happens to you.
By legally documenting your Short-Term Guardians – or, your “Emergency Responders” – the police will have a plan to follow in case of an accident or emergency. These Short-Term Guardians are the people who live close by to you, who can pick up the phone and come to your home at the drop of a hat. And because these are people who were chosen by you and named in a legal document, the police will feel comfortable calling them without fear of risking their own liability. By naming Short-Term Guardians, you have the choice of who will be there for your children, not the police or DCF.
Contact us to today to learn more about naming Short-Term Guardians. Be sure that your children are surrounded by the ones they love and trust during a time of crisis. They're worth it.