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Helping You Navigate Complex Legal Issues

Involving your kids in choosing a potential legal guardian

Gregory A. Lang

One of the chief concerns of most of the clients in Hennepin with whom we work here at the Lang Law Office is who will take care of their kids should they die. As a parent, you likely share this same concern. Your desires are no doubt to have the best interest of your child served. You may want to even involve him or her in decision-making process. Yet at what age is he or she ready to handle such a choice?

Minnesota state law may have already provided you with a suggestion. According to Part 2 of Article 5 of the state’s Uniform Probate Code, children who have reached the age of 14 are required by law to be notified of any pending changes to their guardianship. Thus, whomever you have designated as your child’s potential guardian must inform your child of his or decision prior to his or her being approved by the court. Your child is allowed to file an objection to your choice with the court, and the court will consider it. The court may even place priority on whomever he or she nominates to be guardian, provided that it believes the nominee can accommodate his or her best interests.

Knowing this, it may be wise to talk to him or her about this important decision. Be willing to consider his or her wishes. However, you should also try to help him or her understand what sort of support that he or she would need if you are not there. This could clarify your reasons why you may want to choose someone other than his or her top choice, and ultimately, help him or her to be more accepting of your decision.

For more information on choosing a legal guardian, please continue to explore our site. 

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