Marietta Family Law Attorney Urges Parents to Avoid Loopholes in Protecting Their Children This School Year




I was interviewed this week on Atlanta’s NPR station, WABE 90.1FM, on the subject of making sure that all parents have a plan in place should an emergency strike during school hours. These preparations should include naming short-term guardians, listing the right people on school emergency cards and leaving detailed instructions with babysitters to avoid involvement with social services.

The shorter version that aired today, Wednesday, July 27, 2011, can be heard here:

110727 WABE Interview

The extended version of the interview appears on WABE’s webpage, but I have also included a link to it below:

WABE Interview Full Interview

Probate Attorney in Cobb County Answers, “How do I obtain a death certificate?”

If you have lost a loved one and are now attempting to close out their estate, we are sorry for your loss and we understand how frustrating the process can be.

The steps to take after the loss a loved one can be overwhelming, but requesting a death certificate is a great place to get started.  You will need a death certificate to complete many of the administrative tasks that you will face in the weeks to come, so it only makes sense to order a copy of this as soon as possible.

While the exact process to order a death certificate can vary from county to county, there are basic guidelines that you can follow to make the request for a death certificate as quick and easy as possible.

Let’s take a look at these guidelines:

– I typically recommend ordering 8-10 copies of your loved one’s death certificate. As mentioned above you will need them for many tasks over the next few weeks, so it’s best to have them on hand. The easiest way is to order them through the funeral home, as there is generally a lag time when you order straight from the county recorder’s office.

– Make sure to have the following information readily available when filling out the request:

  • Full name of the deceased
  • The date of death
  • The place of death
  • The deceased’s date of birth
  • The purpose of your request
  • Your driver’s license number
  • Provide a self-addressed stamped envelope along with your request
  • Typing or printing the information is helpful

If you are still not sure how to properly obtain a death certificate for your loved one, or you need to know whether or not you should obtain one based on your responsibilities, contact our Cobb County probate lawyers at the : Worrall Law LLC by calling 770-425-6060 to schedule a free consultation. Not only will we provide you with information on how to obtain a death certificate in Cobb County, but we can also help you navigate the complicated world of probate after a loved one’s death.  Call today!

Is Your Family Prepared For An Emergency During School Hours? 3 Easy Ways to Be Sure


All parents should have a plan in place should an emergency strike during school hours, according to Marietta, Georgia, attorney, Steve Worrall.   Preparations include naming short-term guardians, listing the right people on school emergency cards and leaving detailed instructions with babysitters to avoid involvement with social services.

ATLANTA, GA - “Do you think a school emergency card is enough to protect your kids if something happens to you during school hours?” asks attorney Steve Worrall to a crowd of parents attending his popular Protect My Kids! seminars last month in Marietta, Georgia.

The majority of the room raise their hand yes.  A few parents are undecided.  Yet from a legal standpoint, all of them are wrong.

“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, “says Worrall.  “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,” he adds.

For this reason, experts such as Worrall recommend parents create an emergency plan prior to going to back to school so there is no confusion or legal headaches should tragedy strike.   According to Worrall, this plan can be created in 3 easy steps:

1.       Legally name short-term guardians for your kids– Short-term guardians are the people who have legal permission to care for your child until the surviving parent or long-term guardian can arrive.  This should ultimately be someone who lives close by and one who will comfort your children in an emergency. 

2.       Make sure your short-term guardians match those named on the school emergency card-   In addition to listing friends and neighbors who can pick your child up from school if he or she gets sick, it’s equally important to list the full contact information of your short-term guardians for true emergencies.  Without this information, your children could be placed temporarily in the custody of social services until the surviving parent or legal guardian can arrive.

3.       Make sure the babysitter knows what to do if you don’t return home– It’s extremely important that parents give their a.m. or p.m. babysitters detailed instructions on what to do and who to call if they don’t return home.  In most cases, a babysitter will panic and turn to the police for help, again opening the door for social services to temporarily take custody of your kids until a long-term care provider can arrive.

“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,” Worrall says. “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,” he adds.

For more information on Marietta family estate planning attorney, Steve Worrall, please visit or call 770-425-6060. You can also sign up for an upcoming Protect My Kids! Plan Workshop at or

Everyone has a part to play in ending domestic violence

The following article, written by Edward Lindsey and Chuck Spahos, appeared in the AJC this week:

Georgia’s judges, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, advocates and criminal justice officials are as committed, well trained and caring as any in the nation, and Georgia has many excellent family violence laws on the books. Georgia should be a very safe place for women, children and men. And yet, Georgia has lost 12 lives to domestic violence in less than two weeks.

LaGrange, Augusta, Columbus, Canton, Buford, Sandy Springs, Smyrna. In the last two weeks, fathers and present and former husbands and boyfriends have allegedly killed their partners or ex-partners, children and sometimes themselves in these cities; this is unacceptable. Violence against women is a widespread societal disease in our nation and our state. Enough.

We should all be troubled opening up the newspaper to a familiar story — a woman trying to leave an abusive relationship, murdered. She may have left the house, filed for a protective order, started a new relationship, started living her life free of fear, filed for a divorce or called the police. The circumstances vary, but these murders follow a pattern. Generally, the man she once trusted to come into her life becomes increasingly possessive, controlling and threatening. He may have isolated her from her family and friends, caused her to lose her job, or questioned every decision she made. He most likely has physically hurt her or even threatened her life, her family’s lives or his own with a gun or other means.

We have long focused on providing women shelter and giving them access to services. These are vital, lifesaving projects, and we encourage anyone who is experiencing abuse to call the statewide hotline — 1-800-334-2836 (1-800-33-HAVEN). However, more is needed on the personal front to stand up and refuse to accept this widespread epidemic.

First, we can lead by example through healthy relationships and model this to our children and our communities. Second, we must speak up. It is our personal responsibility to step back and think about our role in ending domestic violence — how we can engage with men and boys to talk, really talk, about ending abuse.

Domestic violence is the systematic use of abusive tactics to compel submission of one person to another in an intimate relationship. Waiting until the physical violence erupts may be too late. When we suspect that something isn’t right in a friend or family’s relationship, we must act early. We need to say that their controlling behavior will drive their family away from them; their children may fear them; and their abuse may land them in jail. We have to challenge the notion that a girlfriend or wife “made me do it.” We must also tell them there is another way — they can change.

Family violence is not a women’s issue. It is a human issue, and we all need to stand together against it. You can contact organizations like the Georgia Commission on Family Violence to get involved with other men in your community. And you can begin the conversations in your life — at work, in your faith community, with your neighbors and at home. We pledge to have these conversations in our own lives. We pledge to do our part to stop the domestic violence and killing of women in Georgia.

State Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, is majority whip in the Georgia House and on the executive committee of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence.

Chuck Spahos is solicitor general of Henry County and the commission’s legislative chairman.