This week in the news Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Will was released, you can read more about it here. You may recall that his untimely passing left behind three children and a long-term partner Marianne O'Connell. His will directed that his son be raised in New York, Chicago or San Francisco due to the cultural treasures that can be found there. You may be wondering, is this proscription enforceable?
Generally, when a parent dies, the other parent will continue as the child’s sole natural guardian. There are some circumstances where this may not be the case, for example if the child has been abandoned by the other parent, or is unfit. Since a biological parent’s rights given much greater weight than any other person’s their decisions will generally not be overruled by a court. As a result, if Ms. O'Connell decides to relocate to some other city, it is very unlikely to cause her to lose custody.