“My parents can raise the kids; no your parents; no my parents…” Estate planning issues are faced by people in all walks of life. Even those with more than adequate resources may have issues when crafting their plan. In recent years, the deaths of several prominent people have demonstrated what to do and what not to do in estate planning. For those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s, the recent death of Adam Yauch demonstrates a compelling issue for all parents with minor children – who should be our child’s guardian.
While the best situation would be for a parent to continue to raise a child, circumstances can prevent that. A surviving parent is the obvious choice to continue raising the child. But when both parents pass away, the court may be faced with guardianship appointments from two wills that are not identical. This can result from strong differences of opinion between parents as to who should raise the child(ren). In the case of Adam Yauch (of Beastie Boys fame), the minor child in question was survived by her mother, but had that not been the case, Mr. Yauch’s will contained an odd provision regarding her guardianship. If he died in an odd numbered year, his will appointed his wife’s parents as guardian; if he died in an even-numbered year, the will appointed his parents. While not the best choice for a guardianship provision, Mr. Yauch choice demonstrates that some amount of thought went into his decision. Whatever the reason for his alternative-year guardianship appointments, such decisions are best made in advance, by the parents, when their wishes can be expressed. If you’re facing a decision about naming a guardian in your will, want to change a guardian already named, or need to create a will to name a guardian for your minor child(ren), we can help. Our Estate Planning practice can go over the pros and cons of the types of choices you’ll need to make, and give you the guidance you need.
DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE WAS PREPARED BY SODOMA LAW, P.C. AND IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND NOT IN ANY WAY CONSIDERED LEGAL ADVICE.