If you have minor children, one of your most important tasks is to choose a guardian for them before the end of your life. Establishing guardianship of a child should be done wisely and quickly.
What is Establishing Guardianship of a Child?
If you are a parent with full custody of your child, you are currently their legal guardian. However, establishing guardianship of a child means that you authorize another individual to take your place should the need arise. Whether you become sick, pass away, or simply cannot care for your child, the established guardian becomes responsible for your child.
In many families, the next legal guardian is often a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, or an older brother or sister. In other cases, the parent may choose a close friend. Either way, you must make the choice carefully, acting in the child’s best interest.
FAQs About Establishing Guardianship of a Child
Do you have questions about establishing the guardianship of a child? Many people do. Here are some frequently asked questions about the subject and their answers.
1. What are the responsibilities of legal guardianship?
A legal guardian either permanently cares for a child or chooses someone else to fill the role. For instance, an older brother or sister may care for their sibling for a short time before deciding that a grandparent is better suited to the task. In either case, the appointed legal guardian takes full charge of the child for at least a time.
2. What is the process for establishing guardianship?
This procedure varies depending on the situation (such as adoption). In the case of end-of-life planning, the court will require paperwork from both you and the appointed guardian (legal upon your death).
3. Who gives their consent when establishing guardianship of a child?
As a parent, you must give your consent. The appointed guardian must also give theirs. If you lose your ability to give consent (or your rights have been terminated), the judge becomes responsible for providing consent.
4. What do my children need to know about their legal guardian?
It is a good idea to familiarize your children with their potential guardians if they don’t already know them well. Let them spend time together and develop a relationship. This will ease the transition for your child should the guardian’s services be needed.
5. Who can answer other questions?
More detailed questions can be answered by your lawyer, and we encourage you to ask them. Establishing guardianship of a child is important and should be taken seriously.
The Importance of Getting Your Affairs in Order
To ease your child’s transition between your care and that of the legal guardian, it is important to get your papers in order. Preparing for the end of your life is the best way to help your loved ones deal with grief. Additionally, it prevents any confusion as to your final wishes.
Make sure you communicate with your lawyer to prepare your end-of-life documents. Your will, life insurance policy, power of attorney, and important documents all play a significant role in the post-life legal process.
Where Does the U.S. Will Registry Come In?
The U.S. Will Registry was founded in 1997 to fill an important gap. The location of your registered will or other end-of-life documents is stored in a database for later access. We provide families and beneficiaries with a means to find lost wills and estate planning documents of those who have passed away.