You may find it challenging to talk about what would happen to your children if you and your spouse were to pass away. No one wants to imagine such a tragic, unexpected accident. But part of taking care of your children is preparing for the unimaginable.
When you sit down with a sensitive, experienced lawyer to appoint guardianship in your estate plan, consider a few things.
4 Things to Consider Before Appointing Guardianship
One important thing to remember when choosing who will have stewardship over your children if you were to pass away is that there isn’t a perfect fit. No one can replace what you and your partner provide for your children. The goal is to choose someone who is the next best thing.
- Focus on Who You Can Trust with Your Children: Start by making a list of family members or friends that you would leave your children with during a weekend get-away. Who would gladly take on the extra children with minimal issues? Who would you worry the least about while taking care of your children?
- Do Not Worry About Money or Size of Home: Do not eliminate a potential guardian from consideration because you think they do not have the financial wherewithal to take care of your children. You can provide for your children with what you leave them, as well as adequate life insurance, if necessary.
- Choose Someone with Similar Values and Beliefs: Consider all belief systems, such as parenting styles, financial practices, religious beliefs, educational values, and ethics. Who would best fit your belief system and seamlessly take on extra children?
- Think About Their Place in Life: Maybe you are considering grandparents for guardianship. Consider how well they would be able to parent as they continue to age. Perhaps a family friend who has children 10 years older than yours would have a challenge balancing two generations of kids. Or a cross-country move may uproot your children more than you’d like during a sensitive time.
As you work through this important decision, let our team advise you along the way. Then you can sit down with the people you choose and have a thoughtful conversation about what would happen if you and your co-parent were to pass away.
While it may be difficult to make plans for the unexpected, it is necessary. Shoup Legal is here to help. Contact us at (951) 455-4114 or email us at [email protected] to learn more about how we can help you plan today for peace of mind tomorrow.