In the State of California, you may execute a Nomination of Guardian form. This form lets the court know who you have selected as guardians. You may select more than one set of guardians in your order of preference. We recommended that you talk in advance with anyone who you select as a guardian so that they are aware and consent to the responsibilities entailed. They also should be aware that they will need to go through the court process of getting appointed as guardian, even if they are close family members. In cases where one parent has sole custody of a child and the other party is very uninvolved or not involved at all, a Nomination of Guardian can be crucial to making sure children are cared for by someone they know, are comfortable with, and who will commit fully to their care. A Nomination of Guardian is usually executed as part of an estate plan, but can be done separately, and very quickly, if needed, such as in the weeks ahead of an out-of-country trip, or when presented with sudden illness.