As difficult as it may be to think about someone else raising your child, choosing a guardian for your child is an invaluable gift. By selecting a guardian with the same values, morals, religious beliefs, and commitment to education that you have, you will ensure that your child will grow up to be the person you want him or her to be.
While many parents assume that their minor child’s grandparents -- or a favorite aunt or uncle -- will be able to assume guardianship of that child if both parents were to die, this is not guaranteed. If you do not have a will or trust in place, the decision of who raises your child will be left up to the courts.
Of course, it is possible that a court may ultimately appoint the person you would have chosen as guardian. However, the only way to be absolutely certain this will happen, and the only way to avoid a possibly lengthy court battle, is to have a valid will or trust with a guardianship provision.