If you have children and you want to be sure they are cared for when you pass away, then you can establish what is known as a guardianship. This means you can choose who you want to be responsible for your children’s physical, mental and emotional development.
The guardian may also be responsible for making decisions about your children’s futures, such as where they live, go to school, get medical treatment, and so forth.
How You Can Name Your Children’s Guardian
In California, you can name a guardian for your children in two ways:
- by writing the name in a letter and keeping it with your important papers, or
- by writing the name in your will, if you have one.
You can do one or both of these, and either will be satisfactory for the court when you pass away.
It is important to note that the court will try to appoint the person you name, but will also evaluate him or her to determine interest in taking on this responsibility. They will evaluate his or her stability and capability. The court will also ask the children what they want.
Nevertheless, it is helpful to understand how to name a guardian for your children before you pass away. You should also be aware of other options available to you, such as a power of attorney or joint guardianship, for example.
If you are unsure of which guardianship option is best for your situation, then we recommend speaking with a guardianship attorney. The attorney can help you understand the different arrangements and assist you in properly naming a guardian for your children.
Find a Guardianship Attorney
You can get a referral to a guardianship attorney in San Diego by contacting the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS). You can reach our referral team: