Everyone knows the overarching purpose of a Will: to dictate what you are giving to who in the event of your death. It includes your money (your assets) and your belongings and property (your estate.) Making a Will or an Estate Plan is the only way to have an actual say in what happens to your estate after you pass away. However, less commonly known is another thing a Will can do: select a guardian for your children if the worst were to happen.
For any parents of minor children, making a Will and electing a guardian is absolutely essential. If you want to have a say in how your children are raised, and we suspect you do, making an Estate Plan is necessary. Choosing who you want to elect as guardian may be a more difficult task, however. Here are some things to consider when selecting a guardian for your children:
Don’t Feel Obligated To Pick a Couple. A guardian does not have to be a couple who are together and in love. You can pick based on the character of the person itself, not their current circumstances of domestic life. You can also pick more than one person, in case your first or second choice doesn’t work out. Consider practically that divorce affects many couples, and choosing a couple based on their status may leave your choice in flux.
Factor in Location. Take time to consider the practicality of where your chosen guardian lives and where you want your children to grow up. Is there a local guardian with whom they could stay in the same school? Would you rather them move to a new state to be with their guardian there? It is a more significant question than it may first appear.
Consider Health. Electing a guardian who is older than you or in poor health may not be the most forward-thinking option. If they are the best choice for guardian, consider also noting a second choice as a precaution.
Pick for the Job at Hand. You can select different guardians for handling your children’s estate and the actual child. Accordingly, feel free to pick for the job at hand. Pick your guardian based upon how well you think they would do raising a child, and feel free to also elect someone you think would be financially capable to guard their estate.
Communicate Your Values. Whether in writing or verbally - or both! - communicate to your guardian important values which you think are important for your children to learn. You can also choose a guardian based on who you think has these values inherently. These can be as diverse as religion and diet, or as fundamental as honesty.
Ask For Help! You don’t have to make the decision yourself! If you already know who you want, then why wait to make it official? For help with electing a guardian as part of your Estate Plan, contact the Law Office of Tanika L. Finney today! We offer professional experience, premium service, and exceptional results.