In this Part III of No Contribution is Too Small I talk about choosing a guardian for minor children.
Choosing a Guardian for Minor Children
We can also help you name a guardian for your minor children. If the other legal parent is still alive and able to care for the minor children, they can continue to provide care or assume caregiver responsibilities. It is also a good idea to plan for what would happen if both legal parents were unable to care for the children, just in case. Although you can name a guardian (and multiple backup guardians) for a minor child in a last will and testament, this document does not become effective until you die. Therefore, you should also name a guardian (and multiple backup guardians) to care for your minor children if both parents were to be alive but unable to provide care, in a separate writing that meets state law requirements. If you do not proactively and legally establish your choice for your minor children’s guardian, a judge will make the decision for you. The judge will refer to state law regarding which relative would be first in line to be responsible for the children’s care and custody. This person may or may not be the one you would have chosen. The law gives preference to family members, but the court does not have the time or resources to learn everything you know about these people before deciding on a suitable guardian. Choosing a guardian and a couple of backup guardians in writing gives you a voice in the proceeding.
(This is not intended to be legal advice and is only informational)