Chayet & Danzo, LLC Chayet & Danzo, LLC
Call for a Free Initial Consultation
Direct 303-872-5980
Toll-Free 888-472-1088
Email Us
Compassion, talent and dedication: guiding colorado families and Their Trusted Advisors During Times of Need

Why single parents need to designate a guardian

A tragic accident leaves a young boy without a father. His father had been the most stable figure in his life for some time. What happens now? Inertia and worries about the cost of an estate plan keep many unmarried parents from putting a plan in writing. This leaves the court to designate a guardian.

Advance planning can take some of the uncertainty out of this scenario. This process is easier than most expect. Our March blog post included considerations for selecting a guardian. In this post, we want to discuss unique issues for single parents.

Whether the other parent has been absent or is not suited to parenting, a guardian and a back-up designation in a will can protect a child. This is important because the other parent is often a natural consideration. In addition, a court may not give significant weight to any unwritten informal agreements.


Judges in guardianship cases are guided by what is in the child’s best interest. This is a standard that allows some discretion. It can lead to unexpected results. When the other parent and/or relatives are involved, disputes can drag out proceedings.

All of this can delay the amount of time it takes to provide a stable home for a child. Even six months can seem a long time for any child and fears about where they will ultimately live might interfere with school and relationships.

What to do today

Estate planning is something that can be difficult to start. Often difficult decisions and conversation are required. But making a call to an attorney is a first small step in the right direction.

Grandparents are often considered first, but are they still in good health? Will they be able to raise a child to adulthood? Would relocating be tough on a child? Depending on their age they might not be the best option.

Who else can be considered? Many people choose a relative (sister, brother or cousin) as a guardian; however a friend with similar values is often a good choice. Always ask for permission prior to naming a guardian. This ensures there are no surprises and the person is willing and able to take on the commitment.

Because there is no way to know when a fatal accident might happen or illness might strike, it is important to start working on a will today.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Watch Our Firm Video

We are the premier Elder Law firm in the Colorado region. We set ourselves apart from other law firms in the area with our talent, dedication, compassion and ability of our attorneys to handle any case in Elder Law. We serve Colorado families with experience and dignity in your time of need.

View More Videos

Denver Office
650 S.Cherry St., Suite 710
Denver, CO 80246

Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Phone: 303-872-5980
Fax: 303-355-8501
Denver Law Office Map

Edwards Office
105 Edwards Village Blvd.
Edwards, CO 81632

Toll Free: 888-472-1088
Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Fax: 303-355-8501
Edwards Law Office Map

Aspen Office
600 East Hopkins Avenue
Suite 301
Aspen, CO 81611

Toll Free: 888-472-1088
Toll Free: 1-888-472-1088
Fax: 303-355-8501
Aspen Law Office Map

  • Rated by Super Lawyers Macro Chayet
  • Rated by Super Lawyers Frank J. Danzo, III
  • Member National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. TM
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Elder Law
  • 2015 Five Star Professional Wealth Manager Multi-Year Winner
  • Our new 2015 Medicaid Book: how to protect your Family's Assets from devastating nursing home costs
  • Proud Sponsor 2015-Denver Colorado Senior Law Day
  • Peer Review Rated For Ethical standards & Legal Ability TM Martindale Hubbell
  • Haystack