Parents of minor children should designate a guardian for their minor child in their Will, regardless of their financial resources. If the parents are incapacitated or pass away, the Probate Court will appoint a guardian for the child. Although the Probate Court always bases its decision on the best interest of the child, the parents' proposed guardian is presumed to be the best choice unless the proposed guardian is unfit or unable to serve.
The advantages of designating a Guardian for your minor child:
Peace of mind for you.
You get to designate the guardian you consider the best choice. The person the Probate Court might otherwise appoint may not be your first choice.
You eliminate or minimize family conflicts that might occur over who will care for your child. For example, there are many cases in which maternal and paternal grandparents have sued forr guardianship of a grandchild when both parents have passed away.
Issues to think about when choosing a Guardian for your minor child:
Is the prospective Guardian willing to serve? Make sure you discuss this with the proposed guardian. It is obviously an enormous undertaking for them.
Does the prospective Guardian have the ability to serve? Does he/she have the time and parenting skills to effectively care for your child?
Does the prospective Guardian share your religious and moral views?
What about location? Many parents prefer to keep their child in their community if at all possible.
It is always wise to appoint a backup guardian, in the event your original choice cannot or will not serve.
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