A minor is a legal term that refers to a person who under the age of Majority, which is the age at which they are considered to be an adult according to state law.
For most states, a person is considered a minor if they are below 18 years old.
Minors are typically not granted the same legal rights and responsibilities as adults, and they are often subject to the care and decisions of their parents or legal Guardians.
After the death of a guardian, a minor child will likely require Guardianship.
When a parent or legal guardian dies, several legal considerations come into play for the minor:
Appointment of a Guardian: If the deceased was the sole legal guardian of the minor, their death might necessitate the appointment of a new guardian. This is to ensure that the minor continues to receive proper care and representation until they reach the age of majority.
Will and Testamentary Guardianship: In some cases, a person who anticipates their own death might include provisions in their Last Will and Testament to specify who should become the guardian of their minor children after their passing. This allows them to have a say in who will assume responsibility for the children's well-being.
Family and Court Decisions: If there is no will or if the appointed guardian is unable or unwilling to take on the role, the decision regarding guardianship might fall to other Surviving Family members or the court system. Family Court, Probate Court, or others, will consider the Best Interests of the Child when making these decisions.
Temporary Guardianship: In some instances, a court may appoint a temporary guardian for a minor in the immediate aftermath of the legal guardian's death. This temporary guardian could be a family member, close friend, or another suitable person until a more permanent arrangement can be determined.
The laws surrounding guardianship and minors vary by state and specific procedures and rules will depend on those local laws.
After the death of a parent, a Guardianship Attorney can help ensure that a minor child's interests are protected and that a suitable guardian is appointed, regardless a legal guardian was named in the deceased's Will.