Perhaps the most important reason to have a will, living trust or another form of estate planning is to provide for the guardianship of dependent children if the parents are no longer able to care for them. Single parents have reason to be particularly concerned about who would care for their children.
The single and custodial parent needs to visit a Family Lawyer in Bremerton Wa to discuss their situation and have a will prepared. This is particularly true if the custodial parent does not believe that the other parent would be the best person to take care of the children in the event of the custodial parent’s serious illness or death.
When children only have one living parent, that parent should name a “testamentary guardian” in their will. If circumstances change, the will can be changed to name someone else. The court would need to finalize this guardianship after the parent’s death.
If the Other Parent is Alive
The other parent will be asked by the court to care for the children. A biological parent has rights to their children that can only be legally terminated by a court. If there is a will naming a testamentary guardian this will not end the rights of the other parent.
The other parent will gain custody of the children unless:
* The welfare of the children would be jeopardized and
* He or she is unfit or
* No one knows where the other parent is (the will should state that the person named as guardian has a relationship with the children, unlike the missing parent)
If the Other Parent is Abusive
If the other parent was abusive and would not be a good parent to their children, it is essential to consult an experienced family lawyer. In order for someone you prefer to be appointed guardian in the event of your death, the will is going to have to address this situation. Assemble all of the proof you can find of past abuse and take it to your attorney. This is a complicated situation that must be handled legally.
Angela Lindsay and Craig Lindsay each has many years of legal experience as a Family Lawyer in Bremerton Wa. If you are a single parent concerned about your children’s future well-being, schedule an appointment with Lindsay & Lindsay to discuss your situation. There are many possible issues in addition to those mentioned above.
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