Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario: “Who Will Raise My Children if We Both Die?”

Question:  If we don’t have Wills, who will raise my children if we both die? Answer: You need to create Wills and have a guardian designated. I have had clients tell me that they never were able to draw up Wills until their children were grown because they couldn’t figure out who the guardian would be. I remember reading about Beastie Boys rapper Adam Yauch (who died recently) and his wife who reported as having coming up with an unusual arrangement. If Adam died in a year with an even number, he appointed his parents as the guardians, with his wife’s parents as the backup if his own parents were unable to play that role.  If he died in an odd-numbered year, the arrangement would be reversed, with her parents as guardians and his serving as the backup.  Compromise you think? If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint one for you, looking at all the relevant information and what the court deems to be in the best interest of the child. In other words, a judge who never knew you will substitute his/her judgment for your better judgment. While hopefully it will never come to this, best to have something in place than rolling the dice and hoping for the best. If you have any questions or would like more information please contact Steve Shane at: | 301.575.0313.


Steve Shane Head Shot for webSteve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates. You can also connect with Offit Kurman via FacebookTwitterGoogle+YouTube, and LinkedIn. WASHINGTON | BALTIMORE | FREDERICK | PHILADELPHIA | WILMINGTON | VIRGINIA