Child receiving moneyThis is our next post in our series discussing why residents of Dallas, Texas need a will. Our last article discussed how a properly written will can serve as a peacemaker for your family. Too often the desire is to quickly prepare a will. That is likely to leave important matters either not addressed or left open to interpretation. It is important to have a comprehensive and detailed plan for your family. In this post we will discuss how a will affects your minor children.

Dallas parents should understand that it is vitally important to have a will that addresses the care of your minor children.

No one ever wants to think about the possibility of dying while they have young children. As terrible as that prospect it, it would be far worse to leave your children with no plan in place as to who would care of them. A properly written will is a crucial document for parents so that this vital decision can be established.

One major thing that a will can take care of is the designation of a guardian. Who would you want to care for your children in the event of your death? Does your spouse agree? What if the person you chose dies with you? Who would you want as an alternate?

This is a topic that frequently requires quite a bit of thought, consideration, and much discussion with your spouse. And, of course, it’s a very good idea to discuss this decision with the person whom you would like to name as guardian. You also need to name at least one alternate guardian in case your initial choice is disqualified, dead, refuses to serve or would not serve the best interest of the child at the time of your death.

What happens if you do not have a will that designates a guardian for your children?

If a Dallas parent dies and does not have a will that properly designates a guardian for their minor child, then the surviving parent is the natural guardian of the child. This seems like the obvious solution, but, sadly, in some cases it is a poor choice and this needs to be addressed. If both spouses are deceased, then the court will automatically appoint the closest elder relative (normally a grandparent). In the event that there are many relatives, then the court will decide who it feels is the most appropriate guardian. If no close relatives exist or apply for guardianship, then the court must appoint an outside adult.

Equally important is the fact that you can name anyone who you do not want to be the guardian of your children. We all have family members who mean well, but who would not be the best choice to raise our children.

Our next blog will continue the discussion about why parents of minor children need a will by delving into how you need to provide for your children financially.

The Johnson Firm can help you devise a plan to make certain that your children will be well cared for in the event of your death.