Naming Guardians in Your Will

Everplans Blogger

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Why do you need to name a guardian?

If you die without a will or fail to name a guardian, the court will determine who should get custody over your children. Unless you have full confidence that a judge will pick the right person, you need to make your wishes clear.

 

Nothing’s guaranteed, but it’s still a decision you need to make

Just because you've named someone doesn't mean that person is automatically the guardian. A child isn't property and can't simply be bequeathed to another person like material possessions, which is why the courts get involved. A judge, often from family court or possibly probate/surrogate, juvenile, or district court, will have the ultimate say.

 

Don't let this discourage you or make you feel like naming a guardian is a waste of time. Your opinion matters very much to the court, and the person named should take priority in the judge's mind.

 

Making your choice

Choosing a guardian can be extremely challenging. No one will ever be a better parent than you, right? This is why you need to put aside obligations and who you’re expected to pick, and go with who will get the job done best. Sure, it may anger your brother that you’ve named your best friend since middle school as the guardian because she has children around the same age and is more aligned with your beliefs about child care and life in general. Above all else, this is about doing what’s best for the child.

 

Naming a guardian for dependent adults

If you are the parent or guardian of a dependent adult, you need to treat this the same way you would as if the person were a minor child.

 

In your opinion, what is the most important factor when choosing a guardian for your child?

 

This article is provided by Everplans — a life and legacy planning company dedicated to transforming the way people get their families organized. For more information, visit: everplans.com

 

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Neither Transamerica nor its agents or representatives may provide tax, investment, or legal advice. Anyone to whom this material is promoted, marketed, or recommended should consult with and rely on their own attorney regarding their particular situation and the concepts presented herein.