A big part of a tutor`s responsibility is to ensure that daily needs are met. You need to be ready and willing to make decisions about health care, legal, financial, and more. Perhaps the biggest benefit of appointing a tutor is peace of mind. Knowing that you have ensured that those you love most are taken care of in this world when you can no longer is a gift you can give yourself like no other. The court will consider what is in the best interests of the child to ensure that the child grows up in a safe, stable and loving environment. A parent or guardian can care for a child if the parents are unable to do so. If both parents die before a guardian has been appointed, it is up to the courts to decide who will take care of them. It will usually be a close relative, but it doesn`t have to be the person you choose. After choosing your guardian, although not required by law, it is highly recommended that you have an open conversation with the person you wish to choose as your child`s guardian to ensure that they are willing and able to take on this valuable role. Although both the terms guardianship and custody are used in relation to a child`s legal rights, legal guardianship is given to a person who is not the child`s biological parent. Custody is generally used to describe a percentage of care. In cases where one parent is found to be incapable, a guardian is appointed by the courts to give custody to the guardian, while the parent(s) may still be able to retain their parental rights. In both cases, the best interests of the child determine the decisions that are made.
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. It`s always best to prepare for the unexpected, so it`s time to appoint a legal guardian. If you have a child, or if you are expecting your first or next child and have not taken care of this important part of your estate planning, you should sit down as soon as possible to begin the process. Other times when you should complete guardianship could be: A guardianship is not the same as an adoption. Here are some differences: involves full responsibility and decision-making ability or authority over another person. This may include financial, legal and personal matters.
Establishing guardianship in a will is one of the best things a parent can do for their child. Why is this so important? Divorce and remarriage. Taryn Zimmerman, a lawyer specializing in family and marriage, had a case involving two divorced parents for several years and the father was no longer present in his child`s life. “He moved on, had two more children and sees his son very rarely,” Zimmerman said. “He has no contact with what is happening at school,” she said, adding that the son “has special needs” that the father “is not up to par. In the event of the death of the mother, who will take care of this child? When he goes to see Dad, he will practically be a stranger. If necessary, consider including a provision in your will stating that your child`s guardian promotes the bond between your child and your parents, as state laws vary when it comes to grandparents` rights to maintain a relationship with a child. In New Jersey, for example, where Zimmerman practices, grandparents bear the burden of proving that visits are in the best interest of the grandchild.
“If I died before my husband, if we divorced,” Zimmerman said, “there was no way I would sign without a provision that he would agree to foster the bonds between my children and my parents and the extended family.” While it is not automatic for a court to approve your choice regarding guardianship of a minor, it is very likely, especially if you take the time to explain your reasoning to the court. This last part is especially important if you don`t want custody of your child to go to your ex-spouse, because usually if the other parent of a child survives, guardianship passes to the other parent. A guardianship of the estate is created to administer the child`s property. This is necessary when: I want to keep updating my will to change my children`s guardian or the person my children would live with if my husband and I died suddenly. When we made the decision, we chose my cousin, who had two children at the time. Now she has four. To give him two more children to take care of? I can`t do that to him. But either way, the call to our estate planner to begin the process keeps slipping down my to-do list. When I asked friends about their own estate planning, I was surprised how many of them said that they, too, wanted to change their initial choices. I was even more surprised to see how many said they had never made a will. “Death is not an option for us,” one mother told me. In some cases, the same person may be the guardian of the person and the estate.
In other cases, the court will appoint 2 different people. Most states allow children from age 14 to have a say in guardianship, regardless of what your will says. So having that conversation before that age can be wise. If your sister has children in California, but you live in New York, should she live in your house or would the children go to her house? Does she live in a good school district? If the location of the guardian you have chosen means uprooting the children, do not leave these questions to the surviving family members to solve them on their own. If your designated guardian lives outside the United States or even in a time zone, it`s especially important to consult with an attorney, as different states have different laws regarding the removal of minors from the state. Jillian Brevorka, a multi-state attorney specializing in estates and trusts, said most of her wills contain language allowing children to move to where guardians live. “If the guardians can move into the family home, I put the apartment in the trust. Guardians can move into the residence,” she said, noting that such requests are not legally binding and are ultimately left to the court.
A guardian is the person who is legally responsible for caring for your children if you die before they turn 18. If you don`t appoint a guardian, it`s ultimately up to the courts to decide what`s best for your children, so choosing guardians in your will is a great way to express your opinion. Who would raise your child? You can choose your best friend as your guardian, but maybe his wife will be the one raising your child in the first place. The surest way to name a family member`s guardianship is to do so in your estate planning legal documents. Without this paper return, you risk the courts deciding who should take care of your child or children if you are unable to do so. Often, more than one person will express a desire to become a legal guardian. If this happens and your desires are unclear, the person you hope to become a guardian becomes less likely. When legally assigning a guardian, it is important to mention the chosen person in your will or in official guardianship documents. When writing your will, be sure to include all of the guardians` information and their relationship to you. To make sure you don`t miss anything important, it`s easier to use services with pre-formulated questions that you can answer.
Make sure that if the other parent is alive, they also mention the same guardian in their will. You can appoint a co-guardian, but this often ends in legal problems when the guardians separate. Here are some general steps that still apply to the process: Have an open and honest dialogue with the person(s) you choose. Discuss your wishes with potential guardians to ensure they are available, able and willing to be appointed as legal guardians. It`s wise to review your choice of guardian every five or 10 years if you have a young child (annually if your child has special needs), but there are times when it`s especially important to consider updating your will: If both parents die after naming a guardian in their will, Appointed guardians are called. You would then assume full responsibility for your children until they reach adulthood. It also means that you don`t automatically take responsibility for your stepchildren if your partner dies suddenly. So if your partner wants you to continue raising their children, they should appoint you as guardian in their own will. A legal guardian can be anyone who does not already have parental responsibility over your children, for example: Your parents, siblings or close friends.
Learn everything you need to know about legal guardianship, including the types of guardians and how to choose a guardian, in this guide from Trust & Will! When you make a will, most people appoint a legal guardian for their children, but you can appoint two people if they are a couple.