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Who Will Care For Your Children If Something Unexpected Happens To You?




by:
Michelle M. Lauer
Jaburg & Wilk, P.C. - Phoenix Office

 
December 19, 2013

Parents, if you do not want someone else deciding who will care for your minor and/or disabled children if something unexpectedly happens to you, it is crucial that you execute a Will designating a guardian for your children.

Agreed, the possibility of incapacity, disability, or death is not a fun or uplifting topic to ponder.  Consequently, it’s no wonder people procrastinate or entirely neglect to consider their estate planning goals.  The consequences of delay or failure to execute a Will nominating a guardian to take care of your minor and/or disabled children, however, can cause nightmarish experiences for your children and family members should something unexpectedly happen to you.  Often, legal proceedings must be brought before a court to determine the best placement for your children, especially when family relationships are strained or disagreements occur.  It is no secret that disputed court proceedings are not only expensive, but many times forever damage family relationships.

Yes, the law essentially makes a Will for you if you fail to execute one of your own referred to as intestate administration.  However, the Will the law makes for you does not cover who will take care of your minor children.  It only governs the administration of your estate (personal and real property).

No, you do not have to have a lot of assets to make a Will.  This is a common misconception.  As a matter of fact, if you have no assets, but have minor and/or disabled children, you must create a Will if you want to choose who will care for your children should tragedy strike.  

Parents, do your children and family a favor:  make a Will to nominate a guardian.  It is one of the best gifts you can give to your family.

 

The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.
 

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Michelle M. Lauer
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Trusts & Estates
 
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