As a parent, the most important job that you have is to protect your child(ren). While you may have everything in place to protect your children while you are with them, what transpires in the event that something was to happen to you and your spouse? Although it’s not necessarily comfortable to think about, it can be extremely important. This is where a Child Protection Plan comes into play.
Components of a Child Protection Plan
A Child Protection Plan is a comprehensive legal document that is executed by parents of minor children in order to ensure that they are taken care of in the manner that you want by the people you desire.
The Plan includes:
- An Appointment of Temporary Guardian for someone you choose to take immediate custody of your kids;
- A Parental Consent for Medical Treatment form; and
- A Medical Information form containing information on your child’s medical allergies and conditions, pediatrician information, health insurance information, immunization record, and medication list.
Additionally, the Child Protection Plan includes a wallet card, which is registered with a national database that maintains all of this information for each child within it.
Just because you have a Child Protection Plan doesn’t necessarily mean that it will ever even need to be used. But it is far better to plan for the worst than to fail to prepare.
Isn’t a Will Enough?
You may be under the impression that having a Last Will and Testament is sufficient for protecting your children in such situations, but this is not necessarily the case. Since your Will may not be immediately located it could take a bit of time before they end up in the right hands as you had requested. Additionally, even after your Will is located, the guardians that you have listed in it are only nominations that still require legal court appointment, and it only works after you have passed away – not if you have become incapacitated.
All Wills must also pass through the Probate process, which can take months – especially if its contents are contested by anyone. So happens to your children in the meantime? If your child requires any medical treatment it is usually Child Protective Services’ network of Foster Care volunteers that will be responsible.
Still Unsure? Ask Yourself These Questions
If you are still unsure as to whether or not a Child Protection Plan makes sense for you, try asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a clear plan in place should you or your spouse suddenly become incapacitated or pass away?
- Have you named an emergency guardian as well as a long-term guardian for your children in a legally sufficient document that would hold up in court?
- If you do not have a legal document that formally names your child(ren)’s guardians, who would receive custody of them if something were to happen? Are you okay with leaving that decision to a judge to make?
- If you have selected guardians, are they aware of this and have they accepted the nomination? Would they know what to do if you suddenly became incapacitated or passed away?
- Do you feel comfortable that your selected guardians understand the belief system and values you wish to pass down to your children?
Ultimately, a Child Protection Plan helps to give you peace of mind that the person of your choosing (rather than a government-appointed stranger) will be authorized to immediately take in, care for, and comfort your children in the event that something should happen to you and your spouse; not Child Protective Services or Foster Care.
Reilly Law PLC Helps Those in Virginia Who Are in Need of Estate Planning
At Reilly Law PLC, we understand the importance of protecting your wishes and affording you peace of mind. We will help you to create a Child Protection Plan and comprehensive estate plan that meets your wishes and makes the lives of your loved ones easier. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!