Guardianship/Naming Legal Guardians for Minor Children

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to protect your children no matter the circumstances. One of your duties as a parent is knowing who will take care of your minor children should you pass away or become incapacitated. If you have minor children, you’ll need to name a legal guardian or guardians for the children in the event of your death or the other parent’s death or incapacity. However, naming legal guardians for minor children always proves to be a difficult task. Some parents end up not making a will because they can’t handle the process. If you genuinely love your children and care for them, creating a will should be on top of your priority list. It’s estimated that 69% of parents haven’t named a legal guardian or guardians for their children. This is a discouraging statistic because the majority of children whose parents pass away end up being raised by the wrong people. You don’t want this to happen to the people who are most important to you in the world. That’s why it’s crucial to have a comprehensive plan for the care of your children to ensure they are in the safest hands if something happens to you. If you need help with naming legal guardians for minor children and drafting estate planning documents, call us at Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC, for experienced personal family lawyers who will guide you through the process.

What happens if you don't name a guardian for your minor children?

If you don’t name a guardian for your minor children, you won’t have a voice deciding the person who will raise them if you die. When a parent passes away without a will, the court determines who should get custody of the kids. If your child’s other parent survives you, the court will grant custody to that person without special actions. However, if the other parent is unwilling, unfit, deceased, or unable to take guardianship over your kids for whatever reasons, a judge will select the person he or she deems most appropriate. This may lead to your child being taken care of by someone you wouldn’t want raising them at all. Many times, a court’s decision regarding the custody of kids where there’s no will is less than ideal. Without a will, a judge, who doesn’t know you or your children, cannot understand your preferences for guardians unless there’s a legally binding guardianship document.

Moreover, family members may start fighting over your children leading to unending court disputes. Even worse, no one may be willing to take your child, and this may lead to your child being placed under foster care. Not naming a legal guardian for your children is doing them an injustice. So it’s important to designate a guardian to ensure your kids are not tossed around if you die or become incapacitated.

If you want to designate legal guardians for your minor children, Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC can help you do that. Our personal family lawyers will advise you on the best legal documents to use in naming guardians.

Common Mistakes Parents Make When Naming Legal Guardians For Kids:

Naming Only One Guardian

Some parents fail to name alternate guardians in case the first or even second choice cannot serve for some reason. It’s recommended that you name several alternatives to your first choice.

Not Excluding Someone

If there’s a person you would not want to be considered as a guardian for your children, it’s important that you exclude them from serving in a legally binding document.

Choosing a Married Couple

Naming a married couple as guardians without specifying what should happen in case they divorce or die is a common mistake most parents make. Given that a significant percentage of marriages end up in divorce, it’s advisable to clarify in your guardianship nominations what should happen if the nominated couple gets divorced or pass away.

Making an Emotional Decision

Selecting a guardian should be a logical process. For example, you may not like some of your partner’s relatives, but logically, they may be the best people to raise your kids if you were unable to. Designating a guardian should be logical process devoid of emotion, and with utmost consideration of the best interests of your children.

Naming Someone Without Resources

While a particular person may be the best person to take care of your kids if you’re unable to, they won’t be able to serve if they don’t have adequate financial resources. Raising a child requires a lot of resources, and a person without resources should not be your choice. Ideally, a guardian shouldn’t shoulder the financial burden of raising your kids. That’s why it’s important to have a proper financial plan in place for the care of your children.

Not Providing Instructions On How Your Children Should Be Raised

If you have specific wishes regarding raising your kids, you should make them known.

These are just a few of the common mistakes parents make when naming guardians for their children. These mistakes can be avoided by working with an experienced personal family lawyer in Michigan. If you already have a last will written, it’s a good idea to have it reviewed by a personal family lawyer to ensure you haven’t made any of these mistakes. At Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC, we can assist you with naming guardians and drafting estate planning documents for the benefit of your beneficiaries.

Personal Family Lawyer Michigan

If you’re looking for a knowledgeable and experienced personal family lawyer to assist you with naming legal guardians for your children, you’re at the right place. Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC is a premier law firm with top-rated personal family lawyers. We’ve assisted countless clients with naming guardians and estate planning. If you are unable to decide on who you should name as the guardian to your minors, we can help you with that. We have a special training program whereby we help parents to work through this vital decision. Do not leave anything to chances, especially when it’s about the people you love: your kids. We also help clients in developing a comprehensive kids protection plan. Contact Leydorf Law Firm, PLLC today to get started.

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