Who May I Nominate as Guardian for My Child?
When you choose someone to nominate as a guardian for your child in the state of Texas, you assign someone who will assume the role and responsibilities of a parent for your child if you are no longer able to do so. When you nominate someone you trust implicitly to take over in your role as a parent, you make a critical decision that should provide you with peace of mind. You want to know that your child will be well-loved and well cared for in the unlikely event that you and the other parent will not be there for them. [Note: Texas allows for the nomination of a guardian of the person (day-to-day care) and the estate (finances and property) of your child; this can be one role or two separate roles. This blog post will focus on the guardianship of the person.]
Nominating a guardian for your child is an important legal task with significant legal ramifications. In Texas, the dedicated estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC can help ensure that you make and appropriately execute the decisions that are right for you and your child. To learn more, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 512-505-2753 today.
The Role of Guardian
The person you nominate as guardian for your child will do all the things a loving parent does, including providing him or her with life necessities, such as food, clothing, and shelter. In addition, your child’s guardian will be called upon to make the big-picture decisions for your child that parents are responsible for making, including:
- Where your child will live;
- Where your child will attend school;
- The type of religious upbringing your child will have;
- The extracurricular activities your child will participate in; and
- The medical care your child will receive.
Time is Not on Your Side
No one expects to be gone suddenly, and while it is unlikely that your child will be left parentless, the fact of the matter is that it can happen. Taking the time to nominate a guardian can provide you with considerable peace of mind. If the worst does happen –and you and your child’s other parent cannot continue parenting him or her for any reason –you cannot go back and take care of business after the fact. This is precisely why estate planning law is so important and why it should not be avoided (although many people are inclined to do so).
How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Help
Because no one schedules their unexpected demise, having a plan regarding your child’s guardianship is critical, and an experienced Texas estate planning attorney at Ibekwe Law, PLLC can help you make these important decisions. In fact, our experienced estate planning attorneys help in all of the following ways:
- By helping you to make an informed decision that takes your child’s best interests into careful consideration
- By helping to ensure that the person you nominate to be your child’s guardian is both willing and able to take on the responsibility –and is likely to be accepted by the court as your child’s guardian
- By reviewing your guardianship choices as time passes to help ensure they continue to support your intentions (life events such as divorce can cause you to reevaluate your choices)
- By specifically including any wishes that are important to you regarding your child’s upbringing, such as his or her education or religious affiliation
It is essential to point out that changing the person you have appointed as your child’s guardian need not be an arduous task –and the person you remove need not know about the change.
Choose Your Nominee Well
It is vital to choose the person whom you nominate to be your child’s guardian well. The idea is to appoint someone you trust to carry out your wishes and love your child the same way he or she would love his or her child. Toward this end, it is a good idea to ask yourself all of the following questions:
- Does the person whom you are nominating share the beliefs that are important to you?
- Will the person whom you are nominating be able to provide your child with the life you want for him or her, including:
- continuing to enjoy his or her favorite extracurricular activities;
- continuing to attend the school he or she knows and loves; and/or
- doing anything else that is important to you?
- Does the person you are nominating have children of their own, and are the children close to your child?
Ultimately, you, your child (if he or she is old enough and mature enough to weigh in), and the person you are nominating must be comfortable with your decision. When you land on the right person, it should provide you with the peace of mind you are looking for, which helps to ensure that you are on the right track.
Who May You Nominate as Guardian for Your Child?
According to the state of Texas, you can nominate any adult whom you believe is fit to be your child’s guardian and who is not already a legal guardian of your child. You may be divorced from your child’s other parent –or were never married to them. The other parent will likely become your child’s sole guardian in the unlikely event that you die or become incapacitated as a parent (unless there is a very compelling reason for the court to deny parental rights).
When you die or are incapacitated, your family members could conceivably contest the suitability of the guardian you nominate, so it is vital to choose wisely. Memorializing your reasons for selecting the person you have can go a long way toward helping to ensure that the court will ultimately sign off on your nomination.
Now Is a Good Time to Discuss Nominating Your Child’s Guardian with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
Now is the right time to determine whom you would like to nominate as guardian of your child, and the accomplished estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas are ready to help. Do not put off this momentous decision! Please contact or call us at 512-505-2753 today.