Parents with young children often neglect or postpone estate planning. Why? Many say they are just too busy to deal with that right now. After all, parents of young children are often young themselves, and quite healthy. Another reason is that estate planning forces us to think about something we don’t want to think about while we are young—death. Estate planning also deals with other “touchy” subjects like the relationships between extended family members, the possibility of divorce, and more.
Yet parents of minor children must think about these issues. Who will provide for the physical, emotional and educational needs of the children if something happens to one or even both parents? If there is no will naming a guardian, the court must appoint one. Of course, the court does not know the values, lifestyle and child-rearing philosophy of the parents. The court will simply make a decision based on state law and what it, not the parents, considers to be the best interests of the children.
At the very least, every couple, or single parent, with minor children should have a will naming a guardian or guardians for the children. When nominating a guardian, it is important to give careful consideration to lifestyle and values. Consider the physical ability of the possible guardian to raise the children. The person being nominated might divorce and remarry, or move to another part of the country. What then? In addition, parents should name an alternate choice in case the first choice is unable to accept the responsibility of serving as guardian. And perhaps most important of all, parents should discuss their plans with the person or people they intend to name as guardian.
At Newman Legal Group, we can help you choose the ideal guardian for your children and design a plan that will help ensure your children will be cared for according to your wishes if something happens to you, your spouse, or both. It’s not something any of us wants to think about, but as parents of minor children, we must. Contact us today to discuss your particular situation.