What would happen to my minor child if I died without a Will?

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What would happen to my minor child if I died without a Will?

Asked on December 6, 2012 under Estate Planning, Arizona

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Does your question ask what happens to your assets (i.e., your estate) or to your child himself or herself?  If you are asking about the child (as opposed to the estate), his or her other parent would become the "natural guardian."  If the child does not have another parent, a guardianship proceeding would be required.  You can designate one or more persons to be guardian of your child, and I suggest you do that. If this is a simple matter and you want to designate a close family member, you can find a form for designating a "pre-need guardian" online.  If this is not simple, I strongly suggest you hire a lawyer to prepare this and other documents.

If the other parent is not involved with the child, and you do not want that person to be guardian, you absolutely must prepare legal documents to carry out this intent.  Even with documents, the other parent may gain guardianship if he or she fights for it.  However, you will leave a big mess if you die under these circumstances with no provision for your child. 

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you die without a will in Arizona and you are married, then everything goes to your spouse.  If you are not married and you have a minor child, then everything goes to that child.


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.

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