Rochester, NY asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Child Custody for New York

Q: We are interested in appointing a legal guardian for our 16yo son in case of an accident during an upcoming vacation.

We will be traveling abroad and our son will stay with my sister. If we get in a plane crash we want to make sure he is taken care of according to our wishes. We wish to appoint my sister as legal guardian. Should we establish a will to express our wishes in regard to our property and our son's financial support? We also want to appoint my sister as the executor of our estate, and ensure that our assets pass directly to our son.

1 Lawyer Answer
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: We here cannot offer legal advice as there is no attorney-client relationship formed between the asker and the responding lawyer. We are an education site.

One bit of education is that the law works best when an event giving rise to a case already happened. This means the process is far more expensive and uncertain before an event occurs. However, if the asker dies in a crash, then the teenager would be left alone, and a guardianship petition would more likely be granted given the emergency facing the teenager. If the asker remains alive, then it will be unlikely a court will grant a guardianship.

Another bit of education is that the state on many occasions is the absolute worst agent to protect the interests of a child. These facts indicate another family member, a maternal aunt, is available to assist and enable the teenager. Then the question becomes what can an order of the state do that an adult family member cannot do? To answer this question requires a visit to a lawyer's office (virtual these days) with very specific questions and very specific facts that are best shared privately with counsel.

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