How to Legally Make Someone the Godmother of Your Child

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An important decision that many parents make is appointing a godparent. The role of godmother is not actually a legal commitment. Traditionally, it refers to the spiritual sponsor of a child. These days, it usually refers to someone who will act as a supportive friend and mentor to the parents and the child.

A legally-defined godmother usually means that she will assume legal guardianship of the child in the case of the parents' death.

Select your godmother wisely. Choose someone who will be supportive of your child during his or her upbringing. She must have the capacity and sense of responsibility to become a legal guardian if necessary. If you are religious, make sure you understand the godparent's responsibilities. For example, the Church of England traditionally requires a godparent to be baptised and confirmed. The Roman Catholic Church requires that a godparent be confirmed and receive Holy Communion. She must be approved by the priest or pastor, and be at least 16 years of age. A child may have just a godmother, or two godparents.

Initiate the godmother's role at the baptism. A vital role of the godparent is to sponsor the child's baptism. During a baptism, the godparent must be present and answer questions on the child's behalf.

Change or create your will defining your godmother as the would-be legal guardian. By naming your godmother in your will, you can establish her as your child's legal guardian in case something unthinkable happened to you or your spouse. When in doubt, it's best to change your will in the presence of a lawyer. However, you may also change the will in front of at least two witnesses.