It's a mistake for only the elderly or the wealthy to consider estate planning. If you are a single parent, or even if you are married, you might want to consider making plans that will cover what happens to your children if you should pass away while they are still too young to care for themselves. Read on and find out more about how guardianship plans can cover that issue for you.
Understanding the Legal Ramifications of Guardianship
If you or your spouse are no longer around, you will need to appoint someone to care for them in your stead. Those who think they have already got everything covered by naming godparents might want to take another step to make things legal. You can complete the paperwork and turn a relationship or religious assignment into a perfectly legal situation by officially naming godparents as legal guardians. If you don't make any move to name a specific person, the probate courts will step in and choose someone for you. The next of kin, if they are fit and agree to do it, are usually the first in line to take care of minor-aged children once the parents are no longer living or able.
Divorce, Custody, and Guardianships
Regardless of custody arrangements, the biological parent still living may automatically gain full custody of a minor child after the death of the custodial parent. However, the judge will ensure that the parent is fit to parent before they hand the child over. But you don't have to necessarily go along with that as long as you take action by appointing a guardian and taking affirmative actions to the contrary. If you don't want the child's biological parent to take over once you pass away, you can assign another person to be the guardian. Then, make things clear by specifying the reasons why you don't want the biological parent to have the child. In some cases, parents gain sole physical custody of a child with divorce because the other parent was unfit. You might need to include information about any child study custody evaluations and proof of parental unfitness along with the guardianship documentation.
Some Final Tips
- Make sure you choose someone trustworthy, healthy, and fit to parent so they can overcome any challenges by others.
- The person you choose should know about and agree to the job.
- Consider naming a backup guardian if the first cannot perform the task.
- Along with guardianship, you should also consider creating a trust so that the guardian has access to financial resources.
To learn more about guardianships, speak to a family law firm, such as Albert & Krochmal, and get started today.