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What happens to children when the Legal Guardian dies.

Racine, WI |

I have legal guardianship of my grandchildren until the age of 18. Their mother works 50-60 hours per week and is involved with and plans to marry a drug dealer who is at this time incarcerated. She does not make enough money to support the children and her drug dealing boyfriend with whom she gives large amounts of money to on her visits to see him in another state. She is sharing a home with another women because she cannot afford to live on her own. My question is, if I were to die before the grandchildren turn 18 would she automatically be given custody of the children or would their or a Guardian ad Litem decide who or where they would live. Also, what would happen to the children between the time a decision is made by the Guardian ad Litem.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. The best planning in this situation is to petition the court for the appointment of a standby guardian. It can be another grandparent or other responsible person.

    This way, when the Guardian passes, the Court would issue Letters of Guardian to the Standby Guardian without a further hearing.

    Only a Judge can enter such an order of appointment of standby guardian. The Guardian Ad Litem acts in the best interest of the ward and fails to posses a power of appointment under the legislative scheme.

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