Preparing for Aruba!

by Rania Combs

A few of weeks ago, my husband called with some exciting news. He earned an all-expense paid trip at work for himself and a guest to Aruba! We leave the middle of June for five days. I can’t wait!

Despite my excitement, my mommy brain has gone into overdrive as the trip approaches. As I’ve mentioned before, I get a bit anxious traveling away from my children, especially when both my husband and I are traveling together.

Yes, I know that the odds of being involved in a car accident are astronomically larger than being involved in a plane crash, but I still get nervous.  And with Osama Bin Laden now dead, my anxieties are heightened because there are a few mean people in the world who are really mad at us.

So I’m relieved that my husband and I will be taking separate flights. I will fly out of Houston after dropping my kids off at my mom’s house, and my husband will leave from the east coast. We also will be talking separate flights back. I’ll be flying back to Houston for a two week visit, and he will be traveling to North Carolina.

With flight plans out of the way, I took some other steps to ensure that my kids will be protected my absence. If you plan to leave your children in the custody of a friend and family member this summer, doing the following things may give you some peace of mind too.

Appointment of Guardian in Case of Death or Incapacity

I have previously appointed a guardian for my children in the case of my incapacity or death, but the original of the document is stored in my fireproof safe in my home, along with my other estate planning documents.

The guardian I selected knows where it is located, but she also lives in another city and the logistics accessing it in case of an emergency would be challenging. So I made a copy of the appointment to give her, along with a reminder of where the original is located. That way, she’ll at least have a copy in case of an emergency until she can get to the original.

Designation of Health Care Agent

It’s unpleasant to consider that any of my children will require medical care while I am away, but the chance does exist. So, I prepared a Designation of Health Care Agent giving my mom, and alternatively my sister, permission to make any and all health care decisions related to the welfare of my children at all times while the kids are in their care and custody.

If you will be leaving your children with a caregiver for a period of time, Designation of a Health Care Agent for them will ensure that the caregiver has the authority to seek medical care for them if the need arises.

Document Listing Pertinent Information

You know your children’s doctors, dentist, orthodontist, and any medical regimen they are on, but a caregiver may not. So it’s important to provide your caregiver this information, along with pertinent insurance information, so it is accessible if needed. Include things such as:

  1. The name of your health insurance provider and member identification number
  2. The name and phone number of your child’s physician
  3. The name and number of your child’s dentist and/or orthodontist
  4. Your name and address and a phone number where you can be reached
  5. Any medication your child may be taking regularly, along with instructions on when the medications must be taken and the dosage.

In case of an emergency, your caregiver will have all this information in one place and will be relieved of the stress of having to find it.

And then go on your trip, relax and enjoy a much needed break!

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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