"Godparent" is not synonymous with "Guardian"

Believe it or not, lawyers do have lives outside of the office and courtroom. Sometimes people even ask us about our area of practice! It is in social settings that I frequently hear this statement:

"Oh, we don't need a will; we already have godparents picked out."

Hmm, I say. Are they family members? Is your choice in writing? Signed by two disinterested witnesses?

No, no, and no.

Then I wish the best of luck to your children's godparents gaining guardianship of them should the worst happen. Appointment of a godparent is not the same as appointing a guardian.

The role of godparent is a religious one. Generally, a godparent is an adult who sponsors a child during a formal religious ceremony or rite and is responsible for ensuring the child's religious education is carried out. In Merry Ole England, a godparent may also have taken over as parent to the child if both parents died. Today, in modern America -- and specifically, in modern Virginia -- the role of godparent is not often a formal one, and they have no real responsibility to the child.

The role of a guardian is a legal one. To nominate a guardian for their minor children, parents must document their wishes in a will. Va Code 64.2-1701 lays out the requirements for making such a designation.

If nominating a guardian for your children is of interest to you, please use the contact form on this site to schedule a free consultation. For low income individuals determined to be in need of a will, payment arrangements may be made.

Recent Posts
Follow
  • Facebook App Icon
  • LinkedIn App Icon
Search By Tags

DISCLAIMER: NOTHING ON THIS WEBSITE IS INTENDED TO BE TAKEN AS LEGAL ADVICE.  CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE.  ANY CASE RESULTS DISCUSSED ON THIS WEBSITE DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY THE LAWYER.

 

Information found on this website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.