I would like to make a Last Will and name a guardian for my children just in case something happens to me before they are legal adults. My 3 children have 2 different fathers. The oldest (11) is with my ex and the younger two (23 months & 9 months) are with my current husband.
Can I name someone as a "co-guardian" to take over my portion of custody if I die - to continue to share the same custody schedule with my ex? I am very worried that my ex would not allow my 11 year old to continue to have a relationship with her baby sisters or the rest of my family (my siblings, parents, etc.) if he were given sole guardianship. (He is VERY unreasonable when it comes to my daughter's relationship with her sisters or my family.) I would like for all of my kids to still be raised together.
It is your Will so you can put what you like in it. You want to make sure you appoint a trust worthy person as your representative though so they make sure to carry out your wishes appropriately. You may also think about doing a living trust so that you have control over things while you're alive. It will also be less frustrating, less time consuming and less costly than going through probate with a will. You need to hire an attorney to help you and they can discuss your options and what's best for your situation.
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You can name a co-guardian in your Will, but that person will not be allowed to take over your portion of custody if you die, unless the remaining parent agrees to the co-parenting or the remaining parent is found to be unfit, unwilling or unable to parent.. When you die you do not retain custody rights for someone else to take your place. The remaining biological parent will be the natural guardian of your children and will then have the right to custody of their biological child once you have died. If that biological parent is unfit, unwilling or unable to parent at that time, then the person that you would name as a co-guardian would have a better chance of being appointed as guardian of your children by the Probate court if they petition the court for guardianship and can prove that the remaining biological parent is unfit, unable or unwilling to parent. You should meet with an attorney to discuss this further.
This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Feel free to contact an attorney to establish an attorney-client relationship by contract.
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