If you have young children, the thought of who will take care of your children if you are unable to has undoubtedly crossed your mind. While you may not like to think about it, it is important to consider who you prefer to have care for your children and make your wishes known in a way that the court will consider and uphold.
A person appointed by the court to care for a minor child is called a guardian. You should first consider who you would prefer to have fill the role of guardian and caregiver to your child. Aspects to consider include someone who shares your values and beliefs, who will maintain family relationships, and who will provide a stable transition for your child. It is also important to consider alternative choices as well, in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to take on the responsibility of guardian.
Once you decide who you would like to be the guardian, you must memorialize it in a way that the court will recognize. Your choice of guardian should be recorded in your will. While many young parents think they do not need a will because they are not wealthy, young parents should have a will so that their guardian choice can be known and honored.
After you have executed your will indicating your choice of guardian, you should reevaluate those choices periodically as your child grows. Over time your choice of a guardian may change as circumstances change. If at any time your choice of guardian changes, you should amend your will to indicate your current preference.
At Murphy, Taylor, Siemens & Elliott P.C. we understand the importance of making sure that your child is cared for in the event you are no longer able to care for your child yourself. We look forward to answering any questions you may have and helping you navigate the process of choosing a guardian for your child and planning for the future.