The estate planning process is essential, especially if you have children. It helps ensure your last wishes are fulfilled and your family is provided for. If you have minor children, it’s also important that you designate a guardian for them in your will. While no parent wants to imagine a situation where someone else raises their child, life is uncertain.
However, before naming a guardian, be careful to avoid the following common mistakes.
1. Not having a backup plan
Have you considered a situation where the named guardian becomes incapacitated, passes on or is unavailable? Having a backup plan is vital in case of such a possibility. In addition, having a backup plan will protect your child in case things don’t go to plan.
2. Failing to provide instructions on your child’s upbringing
Do you want your child to attend a particular school? What about religion and your child’s nutrition? Your wishes for your child should be honored. However, while you may not guarantee that your child will learn how to play soccer or ballet, you can decide where and how you want them to be raised in regards to their morals and values.
3. Choosing a person that the court would not allow
Sometimes, the court may not honor your wishes regarding the guardian you selected. For example, this may happen if the person you chose has a drug issue or a criminal history. Selecting a person that the court may disallow will complicate things down the line and make things harder for your child. The result would be similar to what would happen if you never named a guardian.
4. Naming someone without resources
In case something happens to you, your children should be able to move into the named guardian’s home. The guardian should also be able to afford necessities, education, medical care and give your child the life they deserve. You may be able to leave assets behind for their care, but your chosen guardian should be reasonably financially stable.
The importance of choosing the right guardian cannot be overstated. But to do so, you need to steer clear of the above mistakes and appoint a guardian who will act in your child’s best interest.