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How to write guardianship letters

Updated March 23, 2017

Parents often decide to write guardianship letters that state their wishes regarding the future of their children. A guardianship letter may be used for temporary or permanent guardianship. Temporary guardianship is often used when the parents of a child must leave town for a period of time. This gives a stated person guardianship rights to the stated child for a temporary period of time. A permanent guardianship letter is prepared in advance prior to parents dying. It states who will obtain guardianship of their children in the event that both parents die before the children are 18 years old.

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  1. Determine who you want to have temporary guardianship rights. If you are going on vacation or out of town for a period of time, you might choose to give temporary guardianship rights to a friend or relative for your children. After choosing who you will give these rights to, you must write it on paper.

  2. Create a temporary guardianship letter. In the letter, state your name and the name of the child. Also include the name of the person who will receive guardianship rights of the child.

  3. State the period of time that the guardianship covers.

  4. Sign and date the letter. Both parties involved should sign and date the letter. To make the letter more formal, have it notarised by a notary public.

  5. Determine who you want to have permanent guardianship rights. A permanent guardianship letter is created to prepare for the future. If something were to happen to you and your spouse, this letter will help protect the future of your children if they are under 18. Choose someone that you trust and would want to appoint to watch over your children if you die.

  6. Create the letter. On a guardianship letter, include the names of both parties involved, as well as the names and birth dates of all children involved.

  7. State your wishes. In the letter, appoint the other party as legal guardian to your children in the event of something happening to you.

  8. Sign and date the letter. You and the other party must sign and date the letter and it is preferable to have it notarised.

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About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

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