What’s a vacation like WITH your kids?
Well, for you, it’s not a vacation. It’s a relocation of where you do your daily chores. Everyday of our Spring Break vacation this year I did a couple loads of laundry, cooked a couple of meals, doled out snacks, made beds, cleaned the house, took out the trash… Sounds like a regular Tuesday to me.
It’s been a long, long time since my husband and I had a vacation without the kids. In fact, the last time was when we had one less kid. With four kids in two schools, soccer practices, dance classes, swim lessons, etc., it’s incredibly hard to find someone willing to take on four kids and an elderly golden retriever for a week or even a long weekend.
If you are a little luckier in the babysitter department than we are and are planning a vacation without the kids, here are some things you should do before you leave.
Will (including a Designation of Guardian)
An estate planning lawyer telling you to write a will, imagine that.
If you haven’t gotten around to doing your will, there is no time like you-are-about-to-go-out-of-town-and-leave-your-kids-behind.
Your will should include a choice of guardian for your children. In Texas, you can also execute a Designation of Guardian separate from your will. So if you are really pressed for time, at least execute a Designation of Guardian.
Make sure you leave the will with your attorney and the person is taking care of your children.
Struggling who to name as the guardian(s) of your children? Join the club.
Be sure to check out my posts Practical Factors You Should Consider When Naming a Guardian for Your Children and Five Mistakes to Avoid When Naming Guardians for Your Kid.
Another great resource is the book Wear Clean Underwear!: A Fast, Fun, Friendly and Essential Guide to Legal Planning for Busy Parents (as of yesterday, the Kindle edition of this book is going for $0.60). Its fact patterns will scare the bejesus out of you, but it’s a quick read and has some great advice on narrowing down your list of potential guardians.
Sign and notarize a letter giving permission to the person or persons who will be taking care of your children to drop off and pick up your kids. Check with your kids’ school, daycare, camp, and/or after school activities to see what additional documentation they might require. For example, my youngest’s preschool requires the driver’s license number of the person who will be picking up my daughter.
If your child needs medical treatment, even for something as simple as a cold, the person taking care of your child will need written authorization from you. A quick Google search will pull up tons of medical release form templates. Choose the one that best fits your situation, sign it, and have it notarized. Make sure you leave it with the person who will be taking care of your kids, together with a copy of your insurance card.
Other Important Household Documents
Make sure the person who will be taking care of your kids knows where they can find in your house important documents like birth certificates, passports, mortgage papers, and insurance information.
Make a list of account numbers for all of your utilities, in case the power gets shut off or there is a flood.
Create a list of important phone numbers, like numbers to doctors, hospitals, schools, neighbors, and friends.
Print off maps, directions, and addresses to the places your caregiver might be taking your kids, as well to your pediatrician and the closest ER.
Have a fun vacation sans kids in the works? Go ahead, make me jealous. Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.
Disclaimer: This website is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the publisher. The website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
Copyright © 2018 by Siobhán Fitzpatrick Kratovil. All Rights Reserved.
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