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Should I Name A Couple as Co-Guardians of My Minor Child?

February 18, 2019

Filed under: Estate Planning — Neel Shah @ 9:15 am

A will is the official estate planning document that you can use to name a guardian for your minor child in the event that something happens to you or you and the other parent. In many cases it can be tempting to name a couple as co-guardians. However, this is a poor idea to name more than one individual to serve as a guardian for your children.

Two children going in spring green field

This increases the possibility that those two people might disagree about the best way to raise a child. However, there is one specific situation in which it makes sense to name a couple as co-guardians. This is when you want to name two people to care for your children together.

For example, if you know another married couple that understands the implications of being named as guardians, and is comfortable serving in this role, this couple can act as the child’s surrogate parents. Both of these individuals will be allowed to do things for your child that would require legal authority, like taking them to a doctor’s appointment, or picking them up from school.

When you do choose to name a couple as co-guardians for your minor child, you must understand that these individuals have to agree on what is best for the children. Any critical difference of opinion between these two people would require intervention of the court, which could amplify the conflict and concerns expressed by your children.

If you name a couple that decides to get divorced while you are still alive, you need to schedule a meeting with your estate planning lawyer to revise your will, to name one or the other or a different person altogether to step in as the guardian of your minor child.

Select a couple that has a unified parenting style, is likely to stay together a long time and is capable of making joint decisions without conflict if you firmly feel that this is the best choice for you and your child.      

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