It goes without saying that you and your child's other parent should name the same guardian for your children. But what if you are divorced, or for whatever reason you and your spouse cannot agree on the most suitable guardian? Naming different guardians will lead to a battle in court should you and the children's other parent pass away while your children are still minors. The decision over guardianship will then be in the judge's hands.
Part of the solution to this situation is to leave a Letter of Explanation outlining your reasons for your choice of guardian. It is important to have an experienced attorney, such as Julianna at Santa Barbara Estate Planning, assist you in the drafting of such a letter, but here are the basics of what should be included:
- Who the children would prefer, that is, the relationship between the children and the prospective guardian
- Why your choice of guardian will best meet the children's needs, particularly with regard to providing stability and proper care
- The values and moral fitness of the prospective guardian
- The physical and financial ability of the prospective guardian to raise your children
We have helped many couples select the ideal guardian for their children. These guardians are often named in both parents' wills as well as forms that Nominate Permanent or Temporary Guardians. Please give us a call at (805)946-1550 so we can get this process started for you and your family.