Will Guide
Introduction
What Happens if You Die Without a Will
Probate
Leaving Property to Heirs
Guardianships
Debts
Homes and Family Residence
Testamentary Trusts
Amending and Revoking Your Will
Marriage, Divorce and Children
Estate Taxes
Will FAQs
What is a will?
What happens if you die without a will?
Is my out-of-state will valid if I move?
What makes a will legal?
Can I make a handwritten will?
Do I have to file my will with a court or in public records?
Can I disinherit someone?
What should I do with my will after I sign it?
Can I change or revoke my will after I make it?
What happens to my debts after I die?
Where can I get my will notarized?

What You Need To Know

Guardianships



If you have minor children, naming a guardian for them is one of the most important considerations in your will. Typically, if one parent dies, the surviving parent will remain responsible for the children. However, complications arise if both parents die simultaneously, or if one parent has re-married. Unless you name guardians for your minor children in your will, the court decides who takes custody of the children in those situations.

If you have a spouse who is legally the mother or father of a child, then in most cases you should appoint the spouse as guardian. If you choose to appoint someone else, the court will balance your desires with what is in the best interest of the children. For example, if you remarried and you want your current spouse (and not the natural parent of the child) to be the guardian, you may want to state your reasoning on why your current spouse would be better for the children. EstateGuidance gives you the option of writing these instructions in the Special Directives Clause.

Guardians are responsible for a child’s health, education and other daily needs. They are also responsible for managing a child’s property (unless a testamentary trust has been created for the child – see “Testamentary Trusts” below).

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