In Texas, the law states that as a parent of a minor child you have numerous rights and duties. Among them is to care, control, and protect the child. Most parents also desire to keep their children safe, teach them morals and keep them healthy. But if you don’t have a will or trust appointing a guardian for your children, who will care for your children when you die?
To the surprise of most people, family members (except for another parent) cannot simply assume responsibility for minor children. A state court must appoint someone to assume the parents’ duties in their absence.
Many times that court will decide in a manner that you might not have objected to if you had made the decision. But that is not guaranteed. And this process can be very stressful for your children and result in some unsettling situations where children are split up or they end up with someone whom you never would’ve chosen. The state may prioritize location, lifestyle or relationship differently than you would have.
There is no single rule for how a ruling might be made. There are so many possible outcomes for your children if you fail to properly plan ahead for them. For that reason alone, preparing a will with the advice of an estate planning attorney is especially important.