Nominating a Guardian for Your Child

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A guardian is a non-parent who is allowed to make decisions about the care, custody, control and education of a child. This is a guardian of the person. These types of guardians have the same responsibilities to care for the child as a parent would. For example, guardians of the person are responsible for providing food, clothing, and shelter, and for meeting all the educational, medical and dental needs of the child. Guardians of the person must provide for the child's safety and nurture the child's physical and emotional growth.

A second type of guardian is one who is appointed to manage income, money or other property the child owns or inherits. This is a guardian of the child's estate (property).

This brochure deals with how to nominate guardians of the person, only. If you have any assets (such as a house, savings or retirement account, or life insurance policy) that you would like to be used for the benefit of a child, during your lifetime or after your death, you should consult an attorney to assist you in drafting estate planning documents. Advance planning can guarantee that your assets are used in the way you wish them to be used and can avoid expensive probate court proceedings.