Many people think of a will as a document that sets forth who will get money and property after someone passes away, but a huge component of a will involves financial support and guardianship of minor children in the event of an untimely death. This is something that no parent wants to think about, but it is in your children’s best interests to consider naming a guardian in a will to ensure that your children are well cared for in the future.

This article will discuss the importance of appointing a legal guardian for a child and how to make someone a legal guardian in New York.

Why Appointing a Legal Guardian for My Child is Important

As a parent, you don’t want to leave to chance who will raise your children in case of a devastating event. Since raising a child is such a huge responsibility, you probably also do not want to put family or close friends on the spot should you become incapacitated and your child is suddenly left parent-less. The legal guardian you choose will not only need to take care of your children’s physical needs, but also provide them with emotional support, moral education, and ensure their overall happiness.

Factors to Consider When Naming a Guardian in a Will

There are many important factors to consider when thinking about how to choose a guardian for your child, such as religious beliefs, views on education, moral fiber, and the person’s current relationship with the child. Other considerations to take into account include the potential guardian’s financial capabilities, living situation, lifestyle habits, and physical location in relation to other relatives and the child’s friends.

Discussing Legal Guardianship with Potential Candidates

Although assigning legal guardianship is a very personal decision for a parent or set of parents to make, the arrangement should ultimately be discussed with the desired guardian before the legal paperwork makes the arrangement official. Legal guardianship is a life-changing responsibility, and your desired guardian may not be comfortable accepting the responsibility or be unable to care for your children due to unknown reasons. This is why it’s a smart idea to create a list of a few possible options for legal guardians in case your first choice falls through.

How to Assign Legal Guardianship

The process of assigning legal guardianship in a will involves including details about the guardianship in the relevant portion of the last will and testament and having it signed and witnessed in accordance with state law. Guardianship forms are supplemental documents that allow you to include additional details about this arrangement and explain your rationale for your guardian choice. It is important for both parents to list the same guardian in their wills to eliminate future conflict and confusion. It is also advisable to add an alternate legal guardian in your will in case the first choice of guardian is suddenly unable to take on the responsibility at the time of your death.

At Alatsas Law Firm, our estate planning attorneys understand how emotional these decisions are and how difficult guardianship conversations can be. Please let us help you to protect the future interests of your children by naming a guardian in your will. We work with families like yours in Brooklyn and elsewhere in New York on estate planning matters that provide peace of mind and security for many years to come.

Schedule a Consultation Today with our New York Estate Planning Attorney

Alatsas Law Firm is conveniently located for residents of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. Our ground floor office is handicapped accessible with a subway stop and two bus lines nearby.

We know that dealing with legal issues affecting your family can be stressful, but we will proactively work to provide you with peace of mind as you move forward. If you’re in need of assistance with a divorce or family law concern, contact us today at 718-233-2903 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.  

Ted Alatsas
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Trusted Brooklyn, New York Family Law Attorney helping NY residents with Elder Law and Asset Protection
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