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How to Choose a Guardian

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How to Choose a Guardian

When you have a child, your responsibilities as a parent include providing and caring for the child. But what if you pass away when your child is still a minor? You may appoint a guardian to care for your child when you are gone.

How Do I Choose the Appropriate Guardian?

Entrusting the care of your child to another party may be a very difficult decision to make. Below is a list of factors to consider when choosing the most appropriate person to care for you child:

  • Age of prospective guardian
  • Concern for child welfare and wellbeing
  • Time to care for a child
  • Mental capacity to care for a child
  • Does prospective guardian share your moral beliefs
  • Does the prospective guardian have the financial capability to raise your child

Can I Choose Different Guardians for My Children?

Although many parents want their children to grow up together, there are many circumstances where choosing different guardians for each child is necessary. To do so, you merely need to state whom you want to be the guardian of the specific child.

Can I Make Someone Aside from the Guardian in Charge of My Estate?

Yes, you may appoint a separate trustee to be in charge of your finances. This happens when the parent does not believe the guardian to be fiscally responsible. In such a case, the trustee will release money to your child and/ or guardian when the trustee see fits based upon your instructions.

What If My Co-Parent and I Cannot Agree?

In such a case, you need to appoint your desired guardian in your separate will. A letter of explanation will also help. And if you do pass, a judge will make the ultimate decision.

What If I Don’t Want the Other Parent to Raise the Child?

A judge normally grants custody to the other parent when you pass unless the other parent is deemed to be unfit. If you believe that is the case, you need to attach a letter to your will stating why you believe the other parent is unfit.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

To formalize a guardianship appointment or to resolve any disagreements between the co-parent, a family law lawyer should be consulted. The family law lawyer can help insure your wishes are met.

Photo of page author Mabel Yee

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 08-20-2017 10:15 PM PDT

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