Is it Possible to Name Guardians for My Children Without a Will?

Is it possible to name guardians for minor children without a Will?

   Many Idaho parents name guardians for their minor children in their Wills. Why? That is the only option that they have in Idaho to appoint their choice of guardian to raise their minor children. The other option is to not create a Will and have the courts name a guardian for you.

   For most of us, our children are our most valuable asset (if you will) and we do not want to let a judge, who knows nothing about your child or your wants and wishes, to name the person or couple that will raise our children. On top of that, essentially anyone apply for this position, which is a scary thought.

   To ensure that this does not happen, you must create a Will. In that Will you must name guardians for your minor children. In this blog post we covered some mistakes that often occur when naming guardians in our Wills. Most of these mistakes are not made because our hearts were in the wrong place, but because we don’t always factor in all the potential changes life can throw at us in any given day. If you are interested in creating a Will that names guardians for your minor children I suggest reading the previously mentioned blog post titled: Named Guardians in Your Will, Did You Make One of These Common Mistakes?

   There are additional ways to ensuring your children are cared for by the people that you choose other than naming a guardian in your Will. The first is to create a Power of Attorney for the Care and Custody of your Minor Children. This document gives you the flexibility of knowing that if something short term were to happen, ie a vacation, illness, temporary incapacitation, the people you choose will guard over your children. It has a short shelf life and must be updated every three years, but it provides great protection in addition to the protection that a Will provides.

   The second additional way to ensuring your children are cared for by the people that you choose, is to create a Nomination of Guardian for Minor Children. This is a short document that you sign and have notarized, stating if the need for a guardian for my minor children should arise, I nominate this person or couple, if they cannot or will not perform this duty, then I name this person or couple. A court hearing is still required, unlike the Power of Attorney, but the list of potential guardians is limited to your list.

   So, the answer to the question is yes, but only while you are still alive. There is a difference between nominating and appointing. If you are to pass away, the only way to appoint, or name, a guardian is through your Will.

   Call Jeppesen Law to schedule your Free Initial Consultation and we’ll make sure you’ve named the right people to raise your kids, documented it properly, and that your kids will never be taken care of by anyone you don’t want or taken out of your home even for a minute. 208-477-1785