Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator

What happens to my children if I don’t have a Will?

If something untimely and unanticipated happens to the parents of minor children, what happens next?

The Probate Court must appoint a Guardian and a Conservator for the children that will serve until the children are 18 years old.   This will be done without any guidance from the deceased parents.

A Petition for Appointment of a Guardian will be filed in the Probate Court by an individual wanting to serve in that capacity.  If multiple parties think it should be them, then there will be a hearing in front of the Probate Judge who will then make a decision. 

This is necessary as children must have care givers and people who will serve in a parental capacity to raise them.  It is also unfortunate as the Probate Judge will have little information upon which to make a decision.

The relatives who show up will presumably do so in nice clothes and using nice manners.  They will all “look good”.  The judge will have no idea as to the feelings of the now deceased parents. 

What if she didn’t like the way she was raised?  If her parents were too detached?  Too strict?

What if he doesn’t like the way his brother lives? Too lazy?  Too driven?

In the end, the judge will make the best decision that he or she can make with the information that is presented.

Don’t leave your children’s fate in the hands of a judge who doesn’t know you.  Plan.  Get a Will done and nominate those individuals that you would want to raise your children.