Who Can Be a Child`s Legal Guardian

If you are unsure whether guardianship is necessary for the estate, talk to a lawyer. Click here for help finding a lawyer. There is no legal obligation to notify your former guardians of any changes, although it may be worth doing so if you think the former guardians might challenge your new plans in the event of death. But otherwise: “It just comes out in the laundry,” Borland said. “You`ll find out. You acted in the best interests of your children, and you died, so who cares? Choose someone you trust and add a clause in your will that you want that person to raise your children if you ever become unable to work. In your will, designate one person as guardian and one person as substitute (if the former cannot fill the position) for each of your children. It is legal to choose a different guardian for each child. You can even create more than one guardian for a child, although this can cause problems if the co-guardians disagree. Appointing a married couple often works well, but mention both in your will to make sure they have custody/authority to make decisions for your child. Religious preference.

If parents have specific wishes regarding their child`s spiritual practices, this is a conversation with the guardians they appoint. “Good communication is key,” Fraum said. “You can`t say in your will, `I call this and that, and that means she has to make sure my children keep the Sabbath every week.` Financial responsibility. There are two types of guardians of a child: the legal guardian – who has custody of a child, kisses the boos and signs the permits – and a curator, who manages the deceased parent`s finances reserved for the child. The fiduciary role can be played by a conservator (sometimes by the courts instead of a guardian), a personal representative, a lawyer or custodian if there is no trust, and a trustee if there is, according to Brevorka. There is no need to separate the two roles, but it is an option if you have concerns about your legal guardian`s financial management skills or your trustee`s skills, or if you want to ensure that a larger team of people is responsible for your child`s well-being after your death. When appointing a counsellor, make sure they are someone who is familiar with your child`s needs and lifestyle so that there is no tension about whether riding lessons are a luxury or an important source of comfort and consistency for a grieving child. If you are financially secure, Cheryl Borland, chair of Griesing Law`s Foundations and Estates practice group, recommended creating a foundation for your children that would gradually distribute the funds to them. “Otherwise, at the age of 18, they will enter their heritage without gaining a foothold,” she said.

“They pick up their cheque from the family`s lawyer and the first stop they make is at the car dealership.” A court may appoint a legal guardian during your lifetime if you are unable to raise your child for any reason. This could happen if: As a general rule, the court may appoint any person suitable to serve as a guardian of a person. It is not necessary for a guardian to be related to the person over whom guardianship is sought (also known as a “protected person”), although appropriate relatives are preferred if more than one person applies to the court for guardianship. For prospective guardians who are eligible to provide the child with a permanent home adequate in all respects, except the ability to assume full financial responsibility for the child`s care, States may provide a range of services and financial assistance. These supports include kinship navigation services, government-funded grants through Title IV-E, and government-funded grants. Information on government guardianship assistance payments that may be available to relatives is available in the government fact sheets on the Guardianship.org website. It`s always a good idea to leave a declaration letter with any judge who might question your choice of legal guardian. Since judges apply the best interests standard, it is a good idea to explain why the guardian you have chosen is in your child`s best interests.

The judges consider the following: Older children (ages 14 and older in most states) have a say in where they end up. “It`s really important for parents to get involved,” said Ted Froum, a real estate attorney based in Evanston, Illinois. “It could be a bit of a crash where several people are trying to pick up the slack.” There is no deadline by which you can appoint your child`s legal guardian, he said. “But if you don`t get involved, you risk the court making the decision without your input.” If the person`s guardian can take care of the child`s finances, the child may only need a guardian. Some parents want to keep their choice of guardian secret to avoid drama, which Shane thinks is a mistake. She said she`s encountered situations where someone writes a selection without discussing it with the person, “and all of a sudden they`re a child`s guardian and it`s not going well. They don`t have time to prepare, which is not fair. Once you`ve chosen your guardian, check to see if the person is willing to do so and if they at least vaguely know what it takes to raise your child.

IMPORTANT: If guardianship is required for the estate, it is best to hire a lawyer to set it up and represent the guardian of the estate. Indeed, the fiduciary duty (the highest duty recognized by law) owed by the guardian to the child requires that all laws and rules be respected and that the child`s property be protected. A lawyer can make sure the executor is doing everything right.