You may have spent considerable amounts of time choosing a guardian for your minor children in case something happens to you and your spouse – but have you taken the time to choose a temporary guardian as well as a permanent one? Especially for people who have chosen guardians outside of California and the United States, naming a temporary guardian is an important step toward caring for and protecting your children even after you are gone.
What does a temporary guardian do?
A temporary guardian will care for your children in the direct aftermath of your passing. In California, the court must make the final determination of guardianship and until that decision is made official, a temporary guardian will serve. You can appoint a temporary guardian for the care of your children as well as a temporary guardian for the care of your estate.
The person you appoint as your temporary guardian and the person you wish to be permanent guardian may be the same person or a different person.
Why are temporary guardians important?
In the event of your untimely death, where will your children go as soon as they find out? If you have a temporary guardian, you can rest assured that they will immediately be in the care of someone they know and trust. Without a temporary guardian, you children may be temporarily placed in the foster care system – among strangers and in an unfamiliar environment.
Temporary guardians are also vital if you are nominating someone from abroad to act as your children’s permanent guardian. It will take time for the guardian to arrive from overseas and even more time for the court to make a final decision regarding the case. During that time, it is helpful to have a nearby temporary guardian to comfort and care for your kids until logics and legal issues are resolved.
How should I choose a temporary guardian?
The factors that go into choosing a temporary guardian differ from the factors that go into choosing a permanent guardian:
- First and foremost, choose someone who lives close by and who can access your children quickly in case of an emergency.
- Choose someone that would be able to take your children into their home immediately: someone with the room and resources to keep your kids safe and comfortable.
- Choose someone who would not fight in court to keep your children permanently against the wishes outlined in your will.
- Choose someone who is close with the person you have chosen as your children’s’ permanent guardian – or someone who is willing to get to know that person.
- Choose someone who will be kind and loving to your children.
How do I appoint a temporary guardian?
A California estate planner can help you plan for the future and ensure that your children have the love and care they need whatever may pass. To get your questions answered about temporary guardians and guardianship, or to request a private consultation, call the Law Office of Janet Brewer today: (650) 325-8276.