If you have minor children, naming another trusted adult or couple as temporary guardian(s) may be a good idea. Through such an arrangement, you can enable the temporary guardian(s) to temporarily care for your children and make other important decisions for them, including medical decisions if necessary, if you and your spouse, if any, are not available. Additionally, if you are a widow or widower or have sole custody, temporary guardianship offers peace of mind should you not be able to care for your child(ren).
When Is Temporary Guardianship Needed?
Why and when might a temporary guardianship be useful or necessary? Let’s imagine, for a moment, the following scenario as an example. Let’s say one parent is out of town and the other parent is transporting one or more minor children somewhere. There is a car accident and the children are fine but the parent is temporarily out of commission and unable to care for the children. What does law enforcement do with the children? If there is a temporary guardian appointed, and the parent is carrying a card on their person which has the contact information for the temporary guardian, the temporary guardian can be called immediately by law enforcement to take charge of the children, thus preventing the possible trauma of the children having to be temporarily in the custody of law enforcement or child protective services.
Who Is the Right Person for Temporary Guardianship?
You’ll want to think about who is best suited to be there for your kids if and when you cannot be. You may have appointed potential permanent guardians for them if you are both deceased, and these persons, if located nearby, would be ideal persons to be named as temporary guardians. Otherwise, the temporary guardians could be close relatives of your family and, ideally, geographically close to where you live. The temporary guardians could even be close friends with whom the child or children are very familiar and with whom they are comfortable, and this is, of course, a prime requirement for the temporary guardian. Obviously, the temporary guardian should also be someone you trust entirely to care for your children, with similar judgment and competency to yourself. It’s important to have an open and honest conversation with the person you’ve selected to make sure he or she is ready for the responsibility.
Making Temporary Guardianship in Minnesota Official
When we prepare the temporary guardian documents for our clients we include a Nomination of Temporary Guardian of Person, a Medical Power of Attorney for Minor Children, a letter from our office to the temporary guardian(s), and a laminated card or cards for the parent(s) to carry on their person with the names and cellphone number(s) of the temporary guardian(s). The first two documents are signed in the presence of a notary public.
Assigning temporary guardianship can be a stressful and overwhelming process, but the good news is you don’t have to go it alone. Families across Wayzata and the Twin Cities trust Waldron Law Offices, Ltd. with various legal needs, including temporary guardianship. Call (952) 471-0940 to learn more and schedule a free consultation.