Who will care for your children if you should die before their 18th birthday? A difficult thought, to be sure. It may help to know that you can provide for your children’s well-being should such a disaster occur.
You can name who will be your children’s Guardian if you are no longer here, and ensure that they are cared for and receive all the benefits of your estate.
Who needs to choose a Guardian?
All parents of children under the age of 18 need to specify a Guardian. California law requires that everyone under the age of 18 be represented by a legal Guardian. Only certain minor children who are married are excepted from this rule.
What does a Guardian do?
A Guardian or Guardians are responsible for:
- Your children’s person
- Your children’s estate
The Guardian of your children’s person has responsibility for the care, custody, control, and education of your minor children.
The Guardian of your children’s estate is responsible for the management and control of the minor’s property.
You can nominate one person to be Guardian of person and estate, or choose two different people.
What happens if I do not nominate a Guardian for my child?
If you do not nominate a Guardian, and you predecease your minor children, the Probate Court will choose a Guardian for you. The Court appoints a Guardian based on a formula that is defined by State Law.
No consideration is given to your wishes unless they are legally specified in writing.
The Guardianship Attorneys at Ainer and Fraker, LLP have practiced law in the Bay Area for many years, and we have handled a large number of such Guardianship proceedings.