3 Reasons To Name a Backup Guardian For Your Minor Child

  • Guardianships
3 reasons to name a backup guardian for your minor child | estate and probate legal group

One consideration that is included when writing your will is your children. Not only what you will leave to them – but more importantly, who will raise your children if you die before they turn 18 years old. Your will is where you will name a guardian, but you should also name a backup guardian for your minor child.

Naming a Guardian for Your Child

A guardian is a person or a couple who will care for and raise your minor child if you and your spouse pass away. The first step to choosing a guardian is to specify what beliefs are important to you and your family and decide who you know will raise your child with those same values. These ideals may include religious beliefs, schooling, work ethic and cultural values.

Of course, you’ll want to choose a guardian who wants to raise your children—someone who will give them the love and quality of life they deserve. If you die without assigning a guardian, the courts will choose someone to raise your child. You don’t want to leave that decision to a stranger.

But it is wise to choose more than one guardian for your child. When writing your will, you may also want to name a backup guardian.

Why You Want a Backup Guardian for Your Minor Child

I know that you have thought long and hard about who you want to raise your child if you pass away. As the old saying goes, you never want to put all your eggs in one basket. Here are 3 reasons to name a backup guardian:

  1. The primary guardian passes away before you.
    Having a backup guardian listed in your will can ensure that your child still goes to someone you trust to raise them properly if your original guardian choice suddenly dies.
  2. The primary guardian can no longer raise your child.
    What happens if you die and the named guardian is diagnosed with a critical or terminal illness? At this point, they may decline guardianship.
  3. The primary guardian doesn’t want to raise your child.
    This is a perfectly legitimate reason to say no. You don’t want to force your child to live with someone who doesn’t want them. Perhaps your original choice of a guardian married and has children of their own, or maybe they moved overseas and no longer can give your child a stable home.

As you can see, there are several reasons why you want to name a backup guardian to raise your child if you pass away. When you work with an experienced estate planning attorney, they will also recommend backup guardians.

Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorney

Our estate planning lawyers can advise you on the best options to help you create your will within your estate plan. We will walk you through legally naming a guardian and backup guardian for your child. To talk to a qualified attorney in Chicago, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.

Areas We Serve: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties.