In general, there are two parents who are able and willing to serve and care for their children and if one passes away, the other one by default take over physical custody in addition to responsibility for caring for the child. A minor guardian should be appointed in your estate planning documents to step into such an important role.
In many states across the US, the surviving parent can also be given the authority through a court to manage any property that the deceased parent left behind to the children.
The exception to this is when that deceased parent has left specific property management transfer plans inside a will. If both parents of the minor child pass away, however, and there is no ready fall back plan in the form of a will with an established guardian, the court is responsible for deciding who will be the guardian of the children.
The person that you name in your will is then appointed by the court to act as a surrogate parent for your minor children if the court agrees that your choice is in the best interests of the children and there are no surviving adoptive or biological parents currently able to properly care for the children.
When both parents craft their will, it’s a good idea to name the other person. Each of them should name the same person as a guardian for each child. This decreases the possibility of estate planning or probate related conflicts and can make things easier for your children during the sudden loss of their parents. Rely on the services of an experienced estate planning lawyer in NH to accomplish your goals.