Did you know that your childrens godparents have no legal role when it comes to their protection and well-being after your death? Only a legal guardian stipulated by you in your will can fill this role. Appointing a legal guardian for your children should be clearly stipulated in your will to ensure that your children are left in the care of people who are informed and ready and prepared for the consequences of guardianship, says Clive hill, legal adviser at Sanlam. He adds that your appointment of legal guardians should be reviewed from time to time, as peoples circumstances change and the person you selected after the birth of your child may no longer be the appropriate choice 10 years later. The difference between a godparent and a legal guardian. A godparent is essentially a spiritual role, not a legal one, explains Hill. Its origins are religious and although there are cultural variations, the role today is mainly a symbolic one.
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Here are some of the issues with thinking that your selection of a godparent is sufficient english for protecting your child: A godparent is generally chosen once disagree and doesnt change. You can change your nomination of guardian as your childs life, or the guardians life, changes, to make sure you have the most appropriate person named at all times. Many people will choose a different godparent for each child, but will want one guardian to care for all of their children. The responsibilities of being a godparent are quite different than being a guardian. The godparent may not want that responsibility. The best way to make sure that your child is protected in the event neither parent is able to care for them, and that your wishes are honored is to have an attorney prepare the guardianship nomination papers that apply in your state, and. The relief it brings to have it done is worth the time it takes to make your decisions and get in touch with the attorney. . For folks in Massachusetts, this can be done with me via online communications, so that it fits into your schedule. Posted on September 18th, 2015, there is an important difference between the people whom you appoint as godparents to your children and those whom you appoint as legal guardians. Heres what you need to know.
(I year also remember thinking that living with our cousins sounded very exciting, not quite realizing what would have occurred to make that necessary.) These days, Im often asked by people whether their selection of godparents for their children is the same as naming legal guardians. The answer. A godparent is someone who sponsors the childs baptism. This is mainly a religious role, not a legal one. While the person you may choose as your childs potential guardian is the same as their godparent, there are additional legal steps you need to take to formalize. If your child has a godparent, but no guardian, named and something happens to both parents, the selection of a godparent may be used by the court to help determine the parents wishes. This may or may not be a good thing. The person you selected as godparent may not be the person you want to actually raise your children if something happens to you.
Each candidate may have either a godmother or a godfather or both a godmother and a godfather. Those designated must have the capability and intention of carrying out the responsibility of a godparent and be mature enough to. A person 16 years of age is presumed to have the requisite maturity, but the diocesan bishop may have stipulated another age or the parish priest (pastor) or the minister may decide that there is a legitimate reason for allowing an exception. Those designated as godparents must have received the three night sacraments of initiation, baptism, confirmation, and eucharist, and be living a life consistent with faith and with the responsibility of a godparent. Those desginated as godprents must also be members of the catholic Church and be canonically free to carry out this office. At the request of parents, a baptized and believing Christian not belonging to the catholic Church may act as a christian witness along with a catholic godparent. When we were little i remember knowing my aunt and uncle were our godparents. We though this meant that if something happened to our parents, wed go and live with them.
Regarding the first requirement that a godparent be catholic, there is one exception. For a just cause, it is permitted to admit the Christian faithful of another Eastern non-Catholic Church to the function of a sponsor, but always at the same time with a catholic is means that a ukrainian Catholic may have a russian Orthodox godparent, provided. Godparents must attend the baptism to say their commitment. They should have a close and supportive relationship with the family. They need to be a good Christian. According to Christian Initation, general Introduction, the official praenotanda of the rite of Christian Initiation, the following guidelines apply to godparents:. A godparent has to be approved by the judgment of the parish priest (pastor) being qualified to carry out the proper liturgical functions.
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For example, if you can show that you have been continuously involved with the child since the baptism, and that the grandparents have had virtually no contact with the child, you may be able to make the argument that stability for the child weighs. If you have been an active godparent in a child's life, and you have always understood your godparent role to include providing for the child in the event something happens to their biological parents, you may want to take a proactive approach to child custody. Talk to the child's parents about making provisions for a guardianship in their will. If you are properly appointed guardian of the child and you remain involved in the child's life, you will have a better chance of being awarded custody in the event that such a dispute may arise. A godparent is chosen by the parents of a newborn Catholic. Under Canon Law 872-874, there writing are specific requirements to qualify as a godparent.
Only one godparent is required, but two are allowed if they are of the opposite sex. If there is only one, a christian witness might be asked. A christian witness needs to be a baptized Christian. The godparent needs to be a catholic at least 16 years old who has had the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation, holy communion, and confirmation. They cant be the babys mother or father. The godparents must not be bound by canonical penalty. They must have a desire to be a godparent and be willing to help teach the faith to the child if necessary.
By, freeAdvice staff by, freeAdvice staff, generally, a godparent-godchild relationship is characterized by spiritual or moral advising to the child and his or her family, and godparents' rights to child custody are not often discussed as a possibility. However, some states, such as Virginia, do have fairly relaxed standing requirements for who may petition a court for child custody. Standing refers to the right to bring a child custody suit in the first place. Without the designation of godparent, you would have a more difficult time establishing the standing necessary to be involved in the custody suit. But in Virginia anyone with a legitimate interest in the child has the right to participate in the question of custody and visitation, and godparents may be deemed by the court to have such an interest.
Dealing with the natural Family Presumption. Godparents' rights do not come first, however. The natural family,. The parents and grandparents, have priority. Thus, it's likely that a godparent will be awarded only visitation rights as opposed to custody. To overcome the natural family presumption, you will need to demonstrate to the court why custody with a godparent is in the child's best interest.
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The decision may be less than ideal. The court system does not know your children and can't have an understanding of your wishes for them unless you leave a legally binding guardianship document. If you have minor children, naming a guardian for them is one of the most important considerations in your will. More than likely a will is perhaps the most important legal document the average person will ever sign. Without one, the courts—and not you—decide what happens revelation to your assets. They can even decide what happens to your children. If you want to name a legal guardian, legalZoom can help you do that by getting a last will and testament, or a living trust. To start the process, choose which one works best for you and fill out questions in our online questionnaire. We check your answers for completeness and consistency, assemble your documents and send them to you with instructions.
Now all you need to proposition do is to name the person in your will. The states legislates how guardians are chosen, and the laws are similar throughout the United States. Whether you use your personal attorney or use an online service to create your will, this is a simple thing. Once you have named a guardian for your children in your will, the court will follow your request so long as it is feasible. When there is no guardian. What happens if you do not appoint a guardian? If you should die without a will and fail to designate a guardian, the courts will decide who takes care for your minor children.
Does the person have any medical conditions that would preclude being an effective guardian? If you cannot leave enough financial assets for your children's care, does the potential guardian afford to care for your child? Once you select someone to name as a guardian, it is important to discuss it with him or her. While most people are flattered, some are unwilling to accept the responsibility or have previously unknown reasons for which they might be unable to take on the role. It is also wise to consider appointing an alternate guardian. Naming a guardian, once you have selected someone to appoint as a guardian, the hard part is done.
This is the person who will be parenting your children. So, a presentation guardian will make decisions about your children's health, schooling and moral training. Some things to consider when selecting a guardian include: does this person love my children? Is this person responsible and up to the challenge of raising my children? Is the person a legal adult? A minor cannot be a legal guardian for another minor. Where does this person live? Would my children be uprooted and moved away from their friends and family members if they went to live with this guardian? What is the person's home situation?
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As important as it is to think about your child's financial future, appointing a guardian is even more critical when you sit down to create your estate plan. Find out how to protect your children. No one of us likes to consider our mortality, but being a parent naturally makes you think about the future. When you have kids, their security shredder is your prime concern. And as important as it is to consider finances for your child's future, designating a guardian-in the event that you should you ever become incapacitated-is even more critical. What is a guardian? A guardian is a person who has legal responsibility for a child in lieu of the parents. Guardians are appointed for children when the parents are deceased or if they abandon children or are unable to care for them. Picking a guardian, there are many things to consider when picking a guardian.