Contrary to popular belief, a school emergency card will not protect your children from spending time in the hands of social services if something tragic happens to you. The emergency card only gives named contacts permission to pick your kid up if they are sick, not take short-term custody of them if one or both parents are killed or incapacitated in an accident. Without a plan in place your kids could be taken into police custody or foster care.

Parents should create an emergency plan prior to going to back to school so there is no confusion or legal headaches should tragedy strike. This plan can be created in 3 easy steps:

1. Legally (in writing) name short-term guardians for your kids.

2. Make sure your short-term guardians match those named on the school emergency card.

3. Make sure the babysitter knows what to do if you don’t return home.

Creating a back-to-school emergency plan is so easy— and something that will greatly pay off if a parent is injured or killed during school hours. The first few hours after an emergency are the most painful for a child, so it’s important for parents to make sure their kids spend that time with people they love and trust, rather than in the arms of the state.

For information on creating your own Protective Parents Plan™ to safeguard your child, go to or call Georgia Estate Plan: Worrall Law LLC, your East Cobb Estate Planning Lawyers, at 770-425-6060.

This article originally appeared in the EAST COBBER August 2016 Issue.