Passing away and leaving young children behind is definitely not an idea that anyone wants to entertain. The results of choosing to not make guardianship arrangements, however, will very likely have a long-lasting and disastrous outcome.
In the event that you do pass away without having appointed a guardian for your child, they might be put into the foster care system and left with a scary and unpredictable future. The mother or father who has taken a little bit of time to consider and secure the future guardianship of their children will have a lot less to worry about if an illness or a tragic accident should occur.
Choosing A Guardian
The parent who passes away but leaves behind a surviving husband or wife is able to rely on that spouse for the care and rearing of the children. If both of the parents pass away, however, or if one of them is estranged from the family, it is essential for the custodial parents to pick a suitable guardian. Particular attention should be granted to family members and long-standing family friends.
When considering a guardian, many parents consider the religious views of those they have in mind. It is also vital to consider points such as similar opinions about the importance of education and if the person you have in mind would even be willing to accept this huge, life-changing responsibility.
After a selection has been made, it is essential to talk about it with the person you have selected who might potentially be raising your children. Ensure that they understand the obligation that they would be taking on and that they are willing to accept it and see it through.
Create A Will
The absolute best way to designate a guardian for your children that is also legally binding is by making your wishes known in a last will and testament. An attorney who specializes in wills will be in the best possible position to offer you legal counsel.
Let your attorney know that you have selected and spoken with a fitting guardian and find out if any other basic arrangements need to be made for the welfare of your children. When you are deciding what you want in your will, remember that you can include as much detail as you would like about how you wish for your children to be raised. This way your last will and testament also serves as a helpful reference for your selected guardian.
You might also want to strongly consider scheduling a meeting between you, your will and probate attorney, and your possible guardian so that the three of you can go over any necessary details and ask any questions that anyone may have.
Going to Court
If the worst should happen, a judge might possibly be needed to go over the details of your last will and testament, especially if anyone else tries to challenge any part of it. One of the things that could possibly be challenged is the person you have selected for your guardian. Almost all judges are happy to follow your wishes in the manner in which they are outlined in your will. Your selection, however, might be subjected to scrutiny.
It is possible that the judge may rule against the guardian you had selected in support of another person, although this scenario is extremely improbable. Events like that are very rare, and if you designate a guardian with the assistance of a qualified will and probate attorney, there is almost no chance of this ever happening.
Legal Help With Estate Planning
Selecting an appropriate guardian for your children in the event of your death is a very emotional and difficult thing to have to get through. While it is possible to have your choice of guardian challenged, most complications can be easily smoothed over by the services of an experienced will and probate lawyer to ensure that never happens to your family.
Here at Levia Law Firm, we have 25 years of experience in handling will and probate law. If you are in the process of choosing a guardian, then give us a call as soon as you can so we can help guide you through the process and make sure that everything is done in accordance with the law and with your wishes. Please reach out to us at (818) 703-1777 and ask to speak with one of our licensed will and probate attorneys today.