The question that arises in the minds of every parent, can I appoint a legal guardian for my child? Yes, as a parent, you have all the rights to name a guardian to look after your children. Naming a guardian in your Will ensures that you have the option to choose a person who cares for your children when you are no longer available. If you don’t specify a legal guardian for your child, you are leaving this crucial decision entirely to the courts, who have to choose the guardian for your children.
Who is a Guardian?
A legal guardian is a person who has all the rights and authority to take care of children if anything happens to the parents. Guardians are responsible for making all parental decisions and manage the child’s property and inheritance.
Choosing a Guardian for Your Child
Naming a guardian should be done to protect the best interest of your child. The nomination of a guardian by parents in their will is always given priority by the courts. If the appointment is not made, then courts can talk to the person who wishes to be the guardian for the children and take the expert opinion on the person who can be appointed. If the child is of appropriate age, the child may also be asked about who he or she prefers to act as his or her guardian. When both parents are writing separate Wills, then be sure that both appoint the same person as the legal guardian to avoid future complications. You should also make it a point to select an alternate guardian if, by chance, the original person is not in a position to take charge as the caretaker.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Legal Guardian
- Must be physically fit and able to make the right decisions
- Should be a Legal Adult
- Should be able to give enough time to care for children
- Must be in a position to raise your children and also protect your properties
Procedure to Appoint Guardian
You can establish guardianship by filing papers in court by stating your interest in obtaining guardianship along with a filing fee. You should also submit a letter of consent from the child’s parents.
Once you’ve filed your petition, the court will set up an interview with the child, the child’s parents (if they’re available), and other persons who are also interested in getting appointed as the guardian. The court can order a visit or inspection of the home to check the criminal background of the person who wants to be appointed as guardian. Once the court approves the petition, then you get the order of guardianship. You need to check the local government official website and fill out the forms available and submit to the court.
Choosing the right guardian is a difficult decision to make and will be even harder for your children. You need to review the above characteristics and find a person who is eligible to become the caretaker of your children. Also, if you do not appoint a guardian, the court takes responsibility and elects a person in the event of parents’ death. If you are about to make a Will and wish to appoint a guardian for your child, then you need to take the help of an experienced attorney in Maryland. Contact or Call us at 301-962-2492 to start the procedure of appointing a legal guardian for your children.