If you have children under age 18, a very important part of your will is to name a legal guardian for them in the event that both their mother and father have passed away. You cannot just have a good faith agreement with a member of your family; the Minnesota courts need to see your wishes in writing.

However, even if you do appoint a long-term legal guardian for your children in your will, there is still a period of time after you die where a court date must be scheduled for a judge to give final approval. During that time, your children could temporarily end up in foster care if you have not appointed a short-term guardian as well.

A short-term guardianship goes in to effect immediately after you pass away. The guardian you name is able to care for your children for up to 60 days without the court getting involved. This will provide ample time for all long-term guardian issues to be worked out, and you can rest easy knowing your children will not be in foster care during that time.

Just like permanent guardianship, temporary guardianship in Minnesota must be documented in writing. You must sign the document, and so must the person you wish to name as the short-term guardian. Give a copy of all paperwork to the temporary guardian so that if yours is misplaced, there is still proof available. It is also a great idea to put the paperwork in the school or daycare records of your children with a note that says if something should happen to you, call the short-term guardian or attorney, not the police.

When planning your estate in Minnesota, it's important to cover all your bases and consider every scenario. Attorney Chuck Roulet can help you make those important decisions. Call him today at 941-909-4644 or 763-420-5087.

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