If something happens to me (incapacitation/death), what is the best way to go to have guardianship already in place?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If something happens to me (incapacitation/death), what is the best way to go to have guardianship already in place?

What is considered abandonment because one dad hasn’t been around for 11 years and the other dad has been in out jail and prison. How can I get help to do this free and quick?

Asked on June 29, 2014 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can draw up an "advance health care" directive which will specify who can make medical decisions for you if you are disabled/incapacitated, and also draw up a "springing power of attorney" which will come into effect on your incapacity and give a designated person the right to make economic, legal, etc. decisions for you. This will take care of you, *and* the POA can also let the same "attorney in fact" (the person you give the power to) make economic decisions about your income or assets in regards to your children.

In case of your death, you can in your will create a testamentary trust in which you'll put any assets you have for the benefit of your children and direct the trustee (the person you designate) how to spend or distribute them for your children. You can also designate who will get guardianship of your children IF when you pass, there are no living parents.

What you can't readily do in advance is to  cut out your children's father's unless they have already voluntarily given up parental rights and/or unless there has been a court adjudication or determination that they have lost their rights, unfortunately. Parental rights cannot be unilaterally cut off by one parent, so while you can exercise considerable control over your money, and indicate who you'd like to get guardianship of your children, if the fathers appear and want to take the children if something happens to you, they will likely be able to, unless some other reletive (such as a grandparent) brings and wins a court case to have the children given to someone else.

None of these documents are easy to do--they are very technical. You are advised to retain an attorney to help you.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption