No parent wants to think about the possibility that they might not be around to raise their children to age 18. It is extremely important, however, to ensure that you have a plan to name a guardian for minor child in case something happens to you as a single parent or in case something happens to both you and the other parent.
Being a parent should prompt you to think naturally about the future. You need to ensure that a plan has been put in place to allow someone else to step in and provide care for your children if you are no longer around to do so.
A guardian is a person who has the legal authority to care for a child in lieu of the child’s original parents. There are many different aspects associated with choosing a guardian. It is important to remember that if you are married or the other spouse is active in the picture but not currently married to you that you discuss your options with this other party. A guardian appointed in California will have the ability to make important decisions about your child’s schooling, health, and other concerns.
Some of the things you need to take into account when articulating your decision process for selecting a guardian include whether or not the person you appoint loves your children and is up to the challenge of raising them, the appointed guardian’s home situation and whether or not this would be appropriate for your children, whether or not your children will still have access to their existing relatives, and the person’s willingness to serve in the role of legal guardian for your children.
You need to have an in-person conversation about your decision to make sure that the selected guardian is up to the task and understands what this means. Your Pasadena estate planning lawyer can help you include this information inside your will such that the guardian can begin parenting your children immediately in the event guardianship is necessary.