Why Name Guardians
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Why Name Guardians? Give Your Spouse Peace of Mind

Being a parent, you probably find yourself quietly adoring your child’s latest accomplishment—getting a home run, taking on chess, nailing her geometry test, and on and on.

But do you spend sufficient time thinking about adore would bring up your child when you were no longer around? Those accomplishments you admire are a team effort, the result of a mixture of talents of your child and your encouragement, in which includes the opportunities you pursue, your situation financially, your ideology, and many other factors. However, should you pass away, what happens to the life you and your child are creating together?

Chances are good that your child is going to never going to go to the care of your named guardian — when you are survived by the other parent of the child, custody is going to generally fall to them devoid of any special arrangements. Nevertheless, if a situation in which your child is going to pass to a guardian were ever to come up, having stipulations in place is vital. For parents with children that are still minor, guardianship stipulations are an important part of their estate planning process.

Naming a Guardian in Your Will

To guarantee that your wishes are fulfilled for who is going to take over guardianship of your minor children in the occurrence of both parents’ passing away, you are required to clarify your chosen guardian or guardians carefully and deliberately in your will or living trust. The initial part of adding a guardianship stipulation to your will is just putting the names and birthdates of each of your children in a list.

You might want to include a stipulation for future children to guarantee that none of your dependents are excluded from your will, even if you pass away before your will is updated to reflect their existence. An estate attorney is going to usually include terminology in your will to guarantee that future children born and/ or adopted are going to be included in your guardianship appointment.

What Takes Place When You Don’t Name a Guardian?

A lot of people spend little time thinking about a guardian for their minor children since they believe that role will fall to their family. Many people believe they do not need to specifically appoint a guardian since the child’s closest relative is going to be named. Nevertheless, if a guardian for minor children is not named in a will, the decision goes to the courts and the legal system might not know the parents’ preference for guardians, potentially giving an opening to a different relative or friend to request that they would be the best guardian for your child. Whereas the court is, at the end of the day, going to often choose a relative or a close friend for your child’s guardian, not appointing a guardian can be simply bypassed—so it’s important to specifically name the person you wish to take on this role in your will.

Important Considerations When Deciding on a Guardian

The best way to guarantee that your child faces a smooth conversion is to carefully weigh several factors prior to you selecting a guardian. Below are some things to think about in your considerations:

  • Age: This is a huge factor that is sometimes overlooked. If you appreciate your parents and enjoyed your own raising, appointing them as guardians for your child is the obvious choice, right? That depends—a lot might have changed since they raised you, and one of the biggest considerations is their how old they are. Are they competent of raising your child or do they now have medical issues or other age-associated restrictions that could make the role too challenging?
  • Location: Where do you want your child to be brought up? when the guardian you name resides on the other side of the country, it’s likely your child is going to be moving. Guardians are rarely in a position in which they are able to move to your child’s location. Who is going to care for your child while the conversion is happening? When the distance is considerable, you should think about also naming an provisional guardian that can take your child into their home without delay, while moving arrangements are being made.
  • Ideology: Do you know your prospective guardian’s views on child discipline, education, extracurricular activities, spirituality, politics, and other lifestyle decisions? Selecting someone with comparable values can bring you contentment when you want your child to be raised in a setting that reflects your own ethical beliefs and values.
  • Family Conditions: What is the specific living condition for your named guardian? Do they presently have several children? Is your child going to fit into a large family setting? Is your prospective guardian single? What is their parenting method? What does that mean for your child’s living conditions? Does the guardian have a balanced home life? Do they have satisfactory financial resources? If not, your child might be facing more confusion at a time when balance would be especially welcome.

Following you narrowing your list of candidates down to those that you believe will be the best fit for your child, you still have a couple more steps.

  1. Ask first: Prior to you naming a guardian, have a candid discussion with the preferred individual concerning how they feel about being a possible guardian for minor children. You want an individual that wants to be guardian. In the end, the responsibility could be lengthy and life-altering. When you have a child that has special needs, your guardian needs to also have the personality/skills/balance to properly care for them.
  2. Select an alternate: Speaking to your guardianship contender is going to decrease the probability that they would decline the responsibility, but it’s important to note that the individual named as the guardian in a will is not legally accountable to serve. Consequently, it’s generally thought of as a good idea to list no less than one alternate guardian.
  3. Choose one individual, not a married couple: When you’ve concluded that your brother and his wife are a perfect match, think about naming only your brother as guardian. You have no idea what could occur in their future lives—getting divorced, for instance—so you want to in particular name the individual that best serves best interests of your child. Ask your estate attorney about this phase, there might be different guidance subject to the state you live in and your relationship to both possible guardians in a couple. You are able to appoint co-guardians, but it’s usually suggested to name an individual to bypass confusion down the road in the event of a divorce or other significant event.
  4. Include your choice in your will: Make certain to make your particular arrangements known in a legal document, like part of your will. The courts usually have a requirement that any arrangements made are legally done and through official procedures. Your state might have separate documentation in which parents can appoint a guardian. Verify with an estate attorney to determine if these documents would be of use, or if you should use a last will and testament to appoint a guardian in your state of residence.

Special Thoughts for Divorced Spouses or Blended Families

When you are a divorcee, you might believe you have an inherent guardian—your ex, but you should still appoint a guardian. Your will could control the guardian designation, for instance in a situation in which your ex dies before you. Similarly, when you have a blended family, you need to designate a guardian particularly for your child or children when your present spouse’s children are going to have a surviving parent, or a different guardian appointed.

The laws in each state differ, so you are going to need to especially consult with a professional to comprehend the full range of your specific family circumstance prior to you deciding on the best guardian arrangement.

In Conclusion

As your child ages, requirements change, as does the situation of the guardian you initially chose. For instance, your parents could be a perfect choice now since they are still young, and your child is small. However, are they going to be the best option after they have aged another 10 years and your children are now teens?

To avoid an imbalance, go over your guardian selection when you go over your will. If your selection no longer is appropriate, find another individual to take the role—and be sure to have a candid talk with them first.

Get Legal Assistance With Your Questions Concerning Deciding on a Guardian for Your Child

As you’re devising about your estate plan, one of the most vital decisions you are going to have to make is designating a guardian for your child. There are several important legal factors to think about and you’ll probably have questions concerning them. You can get your questions answered today by getting a hold of a knowledgeable family law attorney in your area.


  1. Naming your child’s guardian in Your will | personal capital. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2022, from https://www.personalcapital.com/blog/legacy-estate-planning/naming-guardian-for-minor-children-in-will/

Arizona Family Law

Naming guardians in your will can be part of your estate plan. You may think you’re too young or don’t have enough money to justify the expense, but if you have children, you have priceless assets. There are many considerations when naming guardians for your kids. However, the process doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.

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