What Happens To My Children If I Die While They Are Minors?

While building your estate plan, this is usually the topic no one wants to talk about, let alone think about. However, avoiding the topic could result in consequences that no parent would ever want to happen. 

If a parent dies leaving minor children, AND there is no other living parent or guardian, an interested party needs to petition the court to be appointed legal guardian of the person and of the estate of those minor children. If the deceased parent(s) nominated guardians through an estate plan during their lifetimes, the nominated individual(s) will petition the court for appointment using the nomination documentation in the estate plan. Such nominations will provide strong evidence for appointing such person(s) as guardians. This is due to the fact that the nominations show the wishes of the parents. 

If the parents did not prepare an estate plan or if their estate plan failed to nominate guardians for minor children, a petition still has to be filed with the court. However, in this latter scenario, a “relative or other person on behalf of the minor, or the minor if 12 years of age or older, may file a petition for the appointment of a guardian of the minor.” (Cal. Prob. Code Section 1510.) I am sure any parent could think of the person(s) they trust the most to care for their kids and possibly the person(s) they would never want to care for their children and handle money meant for their children.

A full and complete estate plan for anyone with minor children should include a Nomination for Guardian(s) of Minor Children. We are here to answer any questions you may have about estate planning, the estate planning process, or the care of minor children after a parent’s death. Together, we can craft a one-of-a-kind plan to ensure that you and your family are properly protected. Contact us today at 424-242-5021 or at info@altalegacylaw.com