Parent Getaways Are Good For Everyone, But Are You Sure You're Prepared?

July 1, 2021

You and your spouse are FINALLY going on a much-needed vacation—the one you’ve been meaning to take for years. The kids are excited to be staying with the grandparents. All of the travel arrangements have been confirmed. Clothes have been washed (so many clothes!), the kids’ bags are packed (including all must-have toys/stuffed animals), and your bags are packed. You still can’t help feeling like you’ve forgotten something. Maybe you have? Are you really prepared for your getaway?

 

Medical Authorization

If both parents are planning to be away from their children, you should be sure grandma or the babysitter, whoever is watching them for you, has a medical authorization executed by you and copies of your children’s medical insurance cards. That way, if heaven forbid, medical attention or treatment is needed while you are away, your children can get the care they need. Medical providers routinely require consent from parents for medical treatment of children. If parents are away, you need whoever is responsible for your children to have the ability to seek medical care for your children and make decisions for their treatment in the event of an emergency. This is easily accomplished by completing and executing a basic medical authorization document that explains you have given the person who will be with your children while you are out of town authority to seek and get medical care for your children if needed. You should also leave emergency contact information in case you cannot be reached, as well as names and phone numbers for your children’s medical providers and the name and location details for the preferred hospital. Having this information and the medical authorization document ready and available if needed will grant you peace of mind, so that you can better enjoy your time away and unwind like you deserve!

 

Wills

Most parents are worriers, and parents’ minds often go to worst-case scenarios. One of those scenarios that race through parents’ minds if they are going on a trip with their spouse is “what if something happens to both of us while we are away?” Unfortunately, as parents this is a situation you must prepare for, just in case. In the terrible event that you and your spouse both die, you want to ensure your children are taken care of and provided for. You want to be able to choose who will take care of your children, where they will live, and who will manage their finances. Having a will allows you to do this. This can be uncomfortable to think about, but you want to be the one to make these decisions, not someone who does not know your children and your family. Parents should carefully consider who they would want to be legal guardian(s) of their children in the event of their deaths. It might be family members or could be good friends.  You should consider your children’s ages, who they feel familiar and safe with, and where you would want them to live. If you don’t want them uprooted from their friends, school, etc., it’s important to consider friends or family that live in the same town as you. If your children are younger, it may be most important that they are with family they know, even if that means a physical move for them. It may be that who you select for legal guardian changes as your children get older, and that’s okay. You can update or do a new will later at the appropriate time that makes that change. Additionally, you must think about who you want handling money for your children. It may not be the same person you want taking care of them day to day, and it may be better that it’s a different person. The best caregiver may not be the best at managing finances. All of these are considerations a good attorney can discuss with you and advise on in preparing your will. And yes, wills do cost money. But isn’t ensuring your children are taken care of the way you want them to be totally worth every penny?

 

It’s no fun planning for horrible what-if scenarios. Unfortunately, it’s a reality and a responsibility of parents. Making these hard decisions and plans will help you feel totally prepared for that long overdue getaway, so that you can soak up and enjoy every minute with the peace of mind that your children will be okay. Every parent deserves a real break to relax and recharge, so make these important preparations, and take that trip!

For more information about medical authorization and wills, email our team at info@gayjoneslaw.com.