Becky Cholewka: I wanted to share the importance of two documents that you need to really consider making if you haven’t already done so. This is if you have minor children. The first document is a will. That’s because a will in Arizona is the only place where you get to name who raises your minor children if something should happen to you and the other parent.
Just a couple weeks ago on Facebook, I saw someone who said, “I’m going on vacation and so I hand-wrote my sister a note asking her to take the kids if something should happen to us.” Unfortunately, that document will not work. It must be in a will in Arizona to name those individuals.
If you have minor children and you have not yet done your will, I would highly consider making that a priority in your life. If you don’t have a will and something should happen, then the only decision that we have left to make is what does the judge want. Those are usually really contentious, highly legalized battles in court, where usually one or two family members fight over who raises the kids.
Otherwise, you’re leaving that decision up to a judge as to who will raise your kids. This is someone who has never met you or the other parent, and until the court process, never even met the children. You really want to make sure you take that responsibility on yourself and ensure who your kids should be allowed to be raised by if something should happen to you.
The second really important document to have if you have minor children is called a temporary guardian of minors. This is a document most people have never heard of. What happens is if you are like my husband and I, we don’t have any other blood relatives here in Arizona.
If my husband and I were to get in a really bad car accident, for example, and we were at the hospital, the only person that cops can leave my child to, William, would be child protective services, until a family member, blood relative, could fly into town. This document prevents that scenario from happening.
It’s a document where you can name other people, whether it’s family members, blood relatives or not, but other friends, neighbors, we have some coworkers, people who my son is very familiar with and comfortable with, that if an emergency arose, they would be able to take him in temporarily until other family members could get into town.
Really important document and the best way to once you execute that document, give a copy whenever you have a babysitter over. Put it on your refrigerator. Give a copy to your child’s school as well. If that emergency arises, that document will be available to those that need to rely on it.
Again, if you have minor kids, a will and a temporary guardian of minor are two very important documents that you should really make sure that you’re executing as soon as you can.
As always feel free to call our office to set up an appointment or for a consultation, our number here is 480‑497‑3770.