You may think itâ€™s rare for both parents to be killed at the same time, but itâ€™s not.Â Three such cases and their resulting custody battles have occurred in just the last year because guardians for the children had not been named.
One case involved a young couple driving their newborn home from the hospital for the first time.Â If you have donâ€™t have an up-to-date Will appointing guardians for your children, name guardians now.Â Otherwise, youâ€™re putting your children at risk.
What Happens if You Donâ€™t Name Guardians
If you donâ€™t name guardians in your Will, the court (not you) will decide who raises your children.
- Will family members fight over who gets custody?Â Will the family feud last for generations?
- Will your brother-in-law, the drunk, get custody?Â Will your sister, who screams at her children, be awarded custody?
- Will no one step forward so the court is forced to place your children into foster care?Â Have teenagers?
How to Appoint Guardians
You name guardians for minor children in your Will.Â Be sure to have a serious conversation with those you wish to appoint before naming them.
Also, be sure to appoint back-up guardians in case your primary guardians are unable or unwilling to serve when the time comes.Â Have that same conversation with them as well.
Execute a Will
Itâ€™s time; if you want to be the one to choose who raises your children if you are unable to, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney and appoint guardians in your Will now.
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