The pandemic is causing us to consider a lot of things that we may not have before, even if maybe we should have.
It brings to mind something a colleague of mine shared recently. One weekend last year, she left her small children with a babysitter and headed out to enjoy dinner at a restaurant with her husband. But as she sat there, a thought crept into her head and wouldn’t leave.
What would happen to her kids, she thought, if she and her husband got into a car accident on the way home?
And even though my colleague is a lawyer herself, and she had a will at home naming guardians for her kids, she didn’t have a definite and clear answer that provided the comfort she wanted. Her will was in a vault, and her named legal guardians lived on the other side of the country. It was that thought that spurred her to take action.
Chances of COVID-19 Infection in the Family
If you are young and healthy, it might be hard to imagine that you won’t be there to care for your kids. But if the COVID-19 pandemic is showing us anything, it’s that even a healthy person can contract a serious illness that leaves them incapacitated and unable to care for their children.
If there is more than one adult in the house, that may alleviate some of your worry. While naming legal guardians for your kids usually feels especially urgent for a single parent, parents with partners aren’t off the hook. You should take precautions too, especially since there are high infection rates among people who live in the same household.
A professor at the University of Florida has found a more than 19% chance that someone else in the household of a person infected with COVID-19 will also contract the disease. Researchers estimate the average incubation time is about four days and could be infectious for up to two weeks. That means it’s not outside the realm of possibility that you and your partner could both contract the illness, possibly at the same time.
An Easy Way to Find Guardians for Your Children
Even if you never contract COVID-19, you are of course still human, and vulnerable to accidents and other dangers that could separate you from your kids—either temporarily or permanently.
If you haven’t already done so, there’s no better time to decide who would care for your children in the immediate term if something happens to you, even on a short-term basis.
And, if you are having a difficult time deciding who to name as legal guardians for your children, we can even help you make the right decisions.
Officially answering the question of who will care for your kids if you can’t—even for a short time—is one of the best things you can do right now. It is a real, concrete way you can protect your kids during this scary time.
If you need help with the process, please do give us a call and we’ll be glad to walk you through it.
Dedicated to empowering your family, building your wealth and defining your legacy,