Cristyn: Hi. Today we’re going to talk about the two different types of guardianship. Guardianship for minor children is when we’re setting up who you want to raise your children in the event that you are unable because you are incapacitated or have passed away. The only way to do that is to put it in your properly executed will. What that means is your oral agreement that I will take your kids and you will take my kids is not legally binding, we’re not giving any weight to that. What we’re going to do is look at that will and say, “Okay, this is who you put down in your will.” The court takes deference to that.

Just a quick note on how that actually plays out is that when you have your will, if somebody were to pass away, leaving behind minor children, the court is still going to bring that appointed guardian into the court because the court wants to make sure that person is still a good fit. Maybe Jane was a great fit when you picked her, but over time her health is deteriorated and she no longer is a safe, healthy fit. We’re still going to have a court proceeding to make sure that whoever you picked is okay and we want that because these are your children, your most important things that you’ve ever brought into or created in this world. With that, what’s the other type of guardianship we have?

Nicole: There are adult guardianship hearings. This is if you are not a minor, but you become incapacitated for any reason. That means still alive, but unable to make decisions for yourself. If you don’t put powers of attorney in place, you go through a guardianship hearing, this is the person who’s going to be making your medical decisions for you if you’re incapacitated. Best practice for this is to be picking one person at a time and to have as many backups as you feel comfortable with.

Cristyn: Absolutely.