Does it surprise you that most people do not have a plan for the care and custody of their minor children in the event of their (the parents) death? It shouldn’t. The topic is tough to discuss because most people do not think about what happens when they die. (Except for me, I spend countless hours thinking about this)
The topic is an incredibly difficult one because almost certainly there is no single person that fits just right. However, if do you fail to nominate, the California statute will shall govern in most cases. Even if you might not be able to find the perfect guardian for your child(ren), you should discuss the decision with your partner.
Discussing your own mortality is not easy- The wife and I did it, and it was a bit surreal. It was also incredibly difficult. (Although some people were really easy (Nope- No way- and I Don’t Think So’s). The low hanging fruit of the “No-Tree” was actually a good way to start the conversation- there’s humor in this- try it you’ll see- just remember to ask “why” that’s where the laughs start. One piece of sound advice for this conversation- tread carefully... After the laughter, it will be time to get serious and actually choose someone.
Put your decision in writing. California law allows parent(s) to nominate a person to take care and custody of your child in the event of your death (or incapacity). California courts give great discretion to a nominated guardian. Your document nominating your guardian must be written and signed by the parent. The usual place to do this is in your will or trust. However, it can also be a stand alone document.
One thing to remember - these are legal documents- don’t do them yourself. Ask a clever professional to help.
I know one: Jiyoung Moon: Jmoon@sasikmoon.com 310 571 5259