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Appointing the Right Guardian for Your Children in an Estate Plan

Posted on May 14th, 2018 by Oddo & Babat, P.C.

As a parent, the last thing you want to think about is no longer being able to care for your children. No child should ever have to grieve the loss of their parent(s), let alone be forced to face the unknown without them. As a parent, you are charged with fostering the growth of your child in a happy environment. By putting a care plan in place for the unexpected, you can help your child smoothly transition into the care of another.  A Folsom estate planning lawyer can help to make sure that you cover all of your bases when it comes to this very important component to your estate plan.

The Right Person for the Job

Identifying someone to take care of your children if you are no longer able to do so can give you peace of mind. There are a number of things you will need to consider when determining who you would like to take on this responsibility:

  • Consider whether they have experience taking care of children
  • Do they want or already have children of their own?
  • Would they be willing to move to your home or would your children need to relocate?
  • Would the person you identify be willing to support familial relationships?
  • Do they share in your beliefs and raise your children in the way you would like?

It’s important to take the time to think about all of these variables before appointing someone to take this on. By doing so, you can ensure that your children are cared for in the way you would like.

Reasons You Need a Back Up Plan

Choosing someone to take care of your children may seem like a straightforward process. However, you will want to make sure that you find someone who is up for the task of doing so. The last thing you would want in the event that the unthinkable occurs is for the person you identified to either decline the responsibility or to no longer be living themselves. To prevent this, it’s important that you:

  • Although it may be hard, it will be vital that you have a conversation with the person you are hoping to identify. You will want to make sure that they are up for the task.
  • Regularly update your estate plan to reflect any changes. If the people you originally identified have passed away themselves, you will need to select someone else.
  • Always identify a backup just in case the person you chose decides not to take on this responsibility or is no longer in a place to do so.

Familial Conflict

The repercussions of not identifying someone to take care of your children can be significant. The last thing you want to do is create family conflict or strife over the care of your children. Through their grief, your children could be caught in the middle of this. Without someone identified, the state may even step in to make decisions over the care of your children.

It’s all too common for family members, such as grandparents, aunts or uncles to want to assume responsibility of the children belonging to the person who has passed away. If this is not clearly outlined in your estate plan, your family could fight over your children. An attorney can help you create a plan for who will take care of your children and how they will maintain contact with other members of your family.

Contending with the thought of death can be emotional, however, making sure that you have a plan for your children can give you piece of mind. As your children and family grieve the loss of you, it’s helpful to eliminate as much of the unexpected as possible. You can do this be developing a clear and detailed estate plan with your attorney. Take away the guesswork for your family so that they can focus on comforting your children during such a painful time.

Thank you to our contributors at Yee Law Group for the above information.


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