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Temporary Guardian: Do You Need One?

Posted by attorney Sona Tatiyants

I've previously discussed how nominating a guardian for minor children is an essential part of a comprehensive estate plan. Nomination of a guardian allows you to decide who should care for your child in case of your incapacity or death. But did you know that you can nominate a temporary guardian to act in certain circumstances?

A parent or legal guardian can nominate another adult to be a temporary guardian for their child. This is typically done if the parent is going to be away from the child for a period of time (because of extended travel, for instance). The nominee can be a grandparent, a nanny, a family friend, or any other adult you trust with your children.

Through this document, you can ensure that the person caring for your child in your absence is able to make medical decisions on your behalf in case of an emergency. For instance, the temporary guardian can authorize medical treatments such as X-ray exams, anesthesia, surgery, etc. Additionally, hospitals can be authorized to surrender custody of the child to the temporary guardian after treatment.

Many hospitals and medical providers treat temporary guardian nominations as if they were health care power of attorney and therefore require an acknowledgement of a notary. So, even though this document is created for only a relatively short time period, it is a good idea to get it notarized.

Sona A. Tatiyants

Tatiyants Law, P.C.

Additional resources provided by the author

Quick guide why and when you need to nominate a temporary guardian for your minor children

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