Congrats! Somebody potentially trusts you with their children.

Being nominated as a Guardian is a tremendous testament to your character and your relationship with the person that nominated you. Guardians have one of the most important responsibilities—caring for a minor child if the parents die. 

How is a guardian nominated?

A Guardian may be nominated by a parent in a Will or other estate planning document and, after a parent passes, a court typically must approve the nomination and officially appoint a Guardian. 

When do my responsibilities kick in?

While you have been nominated now, you have no duties, responsibilities, or powers until you are appointed as Guardian by a court.  If you are appointed a Guardian, you may be responsible for the physical custody can care of a child and/or the management of the financial affairs of the child. The court appointment and state law will determine your specific duties, powers, and responsibilities.

Should I advertise I'm a guardian?

Although you have no duties at this time, it may be helpful to have a conversation with the person that nominated you as Guardian. While it may be difficult to raise this subject in conversation, remember that you were nominated as someone trusted to take on the responsibilities of being a Guardian, should the need arise. Having a conversation with the person that nominated you may give you greater insight into that person’s preferences and desires regarding the care of their children. This may prove invaluable if you are eventually in the position of making decisions about their children. 


If your appointment as Guardian has been approved by a court or if you have further questions about the duties and responsibilities of being a guardian, you may wish to consult a qualified attorney licensed to practice in your state.

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