Naming a guardian is important when you have minor children.
No, it is essential.
Are you a parent of minor children?
If yes, your financial situation may feel strained.
In addition to the expenses you had before children, you are now feeding more mouths and clothing more bodies.
Estate planning may be at the bottom of your priorities because you feel you have no money to pass on when you die.
According to a recent Lifehacker article titled “Why You Should Name a Guardian for Your Kids Right Away,” estate planning is more than financial planning.
Estate planning involves protecting and preserving your legacy.
Your children are your most treasured assets.
In fact, they are your legacy.
Consequently, you should prioritize estate planning.
Where to start?
You need to nominate a guardian for your minor children in your last will and testament.
If you fail in this fundamental parental responsibility, then you could leave your children vulnerable if your minor children are orphaned.
A guardian will be chosen by the court.
Your children may be reared to adulthood by a relative who does not share your values or, even worse, they could be placed in the state foster system.
How should you select guardians?
For starters, discuss your priorities and create a criteria checklist with your spouse.
What might you consider?
Ask whether the person would be willing to rear your children.
Is the the individual financially and logistically capable of providing care?
Where would the children live?
Would your guardian have similar religious and political beliefs?
What parenting skills does the guardian have?
Is your guardian candidate in good health?
Do you have a successor guardian in the event your first choice fall through?
Redundancies in estate planning are a good thing.
After you have reviewed your criteria and discussed your wishes with your top candidate, work with an experienced estate planning attorney to include your guardian in your last will.
Reference: Lifehacker (Oct. 27, 2020) “Why You Should Name a Guardian for Your Kids Right Away”