You’ve Probably Questioned This Before: What Will Happen to your Children?
One of the most important decisions our clients who have young children make when they’re doing their estate planning with our office is who will be the guardian for their children. Heaven forbid something happens to them before they turn 18. But, the question still remains.
How can a guardianship help keep your kids safe?
One way to assure yourself is through a guardianship. Let’s go over what some important factors are when considering making this important decision.
What is a guardian?
So, what is a guardian? A guardian is the person who takes physical and legal custody of a minor child, if for any reason their parents aren’t available to care for them. In essence, this is the person that children will live with who will make medical decisions, take care of school issues, and just generally take care of the child. In an emergency situation, if there’s no clear indication as to who the Guardian should be, oftentimes Children’s Services gets involved and takes custody of the children.
Obviously, this is the worst case scenario. It’s something that most parents always want to avoid.
Without a designation in place, it’s up to a judge at the family and probate court to decide who the Guardian should be. Unfortunately, a judge is a person who doesn’t know you, your children, or your family.
Make the right decision now, help your kids in the future
Make the tough decision ahead of time. Protect your kids from all of these contingencies, and make sure your wishes are stated. If you’re not sure who you’d like to appoint in this important role. Some of the considerations we like to talk through with our clients include:
Geographic location of the minor guardian:
Is it important to you that your child stay local to where you’ve raised them so far, or is relocating a good option?
Age of the Guardian:
Oftentimes, grandparents make the most sense for a guardian, but are they going to be available over the long term?
If worship is important to you and your family, maybe that should continue on? Or maybe not.
Parenting style of the potential Guardian:
You would want to appoint someone who makes decisions similar to the ones that you do.
Creating a plan to avoid the worst situations is just a phone call away
Don’t leave this to chance. Make sure your children will be looked after by the person you think is most appropriate. We would love to help you with this important decision. Give our office a call.