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Musician's will reveals unique guardianship arrangement

One of the biggest decisions parents may have to make is who will become the guardian of their children should something ever happen to both of them. Parents determining who this person should be may consider siblings, parents, or even older siblings of the child if there is a large age gap between the children. Guardianships of children can greatly influence a child's life as it determines who they will spend most of their time with and which adults will have the right to make decisions affecting their lives if they are young.

One famous musician who died this year chose a unique way to determine guardianship of his daughter. Adam Youch, member of the Beastie Boys, died of cancer in May and his will has recently become public. The will suggests that Youch and his wife did not agree on who should become guardians of their daughter should both of them die.

Youch's will specified that if he died in an even year his parents would become guardians of their daughter, but if he died in an odd year, his wife's parents would be the guardians. In either situation, the grandparents not granted guardianship would be backup guardians.

This guardianship decision suggests that when making such an important decision in your child's life, deferring to a customary method of determining guardianship is not necessary. His will shows that it is possible for families to create customized guardianship setups.

For families who have children and are in the process of creating a guardianship arrangement, considering how a will states a guardianship decision is important. Talking to a family law attorney knowledgeable about guardianships may be helpful for ensuring your child is cared for and you feel comfortable with the guardianship arrangement.

Source: Forbes, "Adam Yauch's will reveals his private dilemma," Deborah L. Jacobs, Aug. 10, 2012

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