Planning for Children
Who decides on guardianship for my children if I die without a will?
As a parent, you can name a guardian for your children in your will. Even though a court will still need to approve your choice, your wishes would typically be followed, particularly if there is no conflict in guardianship with another legal parent.
When parents don’t leave a will, the court will decide on a guardian for you, using a “best interest of the child” standard. Because the court’s choice may not be your choice, your best chance for making sure that your wishes will be followed is to name a guardian for your children in a properly constructed and executed will.
In addition to choosing your children’s guardian, you can make sure that your children will be properly taken care of financially by using a “family trust” to benefit your children.
For more information about the importance of wills and family trusts for families with children, please click on the following links: