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What happens when children are willed to someone? I mean, if dh and I die at the same time (like a plane crash), we have the kids in the will to go to my parents, or if they're not able to care for them, to my sister (although that might change). Does the will automatically cover adoption, or do they have to be formally adopted? Especially in the case of a non-family will. If I will them to a friend, would the friend have to go through the adoption process? How expensive is that?
It is my understanding from our lawyer who is helping us get our will made up, that the children's GUARDIANSHIP is transferred to the willed-to party, but they would have to formally adopt them if they were wanting to take that step. Adoption is not required in order for guardianship to be given and guaranteed.
There isn't unless that child wanted to "feel like a part of the family." I can't think of other reasons, but I guess there are some. I've heard of kids wanting it so their names would be the same (when the family they live with has another last name.
If the parents are still alive, the reason for adoption is that birth parents can "revoke" the guardianship at any time if they wish. They have to go before the judge and ask for it and they can get it turned back.
Your will should automatically cover all children once formally adopted. We put in a line just in case which said something like "all children by birth or adoption shall be....". If your child has not been formally adopted or finalized, you need to address this in your will.