Recently, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families released a statement recommending parents to consider creating temporary guardianship options for their children in case they become incapacitated with COVID-19. As you may know, a guardian is someone you trust that you can appoint to care for and look after your children should you no longer be able to do so. Though no parent wants to imagine this scenario, it is always best you choose someone to care for your child than for a court to choose, which is what will most likely happen if you do not create these plans in your lifetime.
Of the recommendation, DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer said, “Contingency planning is always recommended for families, but during these uncertain times, it is even more crucial for parents to prepare for the unexpected. Similar to disaster readiness, families should have a COVID-19 Kit that includes important documents, a list of alternative caregivers for their children and a ‘go’ bag with toys, medicines, clothes, electronics and other essentials children may need to spend the night – or a week – with a designated caregiver.”
Carmen Diaz Petti, Assistance Commissioner for the DCPP said, “DCF’s role is one of child protection and child welfare. We encourage all parents to consider these resources and to do all they can to plan for the care of their children, preventing an unnecessarily traumatic experience during an already difficult time.”
Again, to reiterate, a power of attorney can allow a family to list and appoint individuals to step in as guardians under very specific, triggering conditions, primarily if both child’s parents become incapacitated. You may specify in a power of attorney that a certain individual can take custody of, care for, and access medical treatment for your minor child.
If you have any additional questions regarding powers of attorney and guardianship in New Jersey, please do not hesitate to give our Bergen County family and estate law group a call today. We are here to help you.
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At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.