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How to establish guardianship for children in estate planning

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | Guardianship

As parents, planning for your children’s future is paramount, especially in the event that you can no longer care for them. Establishing guardianship within your estate plan can ensure your children will live with a person you chose. This can help your children receive support from a trusted adult in the event of your passing, as well as maintain some semblance of a normal routine.

Choosing the right guardian

Selecting a guardian in case of your death, sometimes called a standby guardian, is a deeply personal decision. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Values and parenting style: Choose someone who shares your values and parenting philosophies.
  • Financial stability and age: Consider their ability to manage finances, afford all your child’s needs, and whether they are of an age that promises long-term availability.
  • Geographical location: It’s often beneficial to choose a guardian who lives nearby to minimize disruption in your children’s lives.
  • Emotional readiness: Make sure the potential guardian is willing and emotionally prepared to take on this responsibility.

Legal process of establishing guardianship

Before you begin working on legally establishing guardianship, discuss your decision with the guardian you have chosen. It is important to make sure that they are ready and willing to accept this role if you pass away. You may want to discuss this with a few different people so you can set up an alternate guardian in case your first choice is not able to take care of your children at that time.

Once you have communicated with your chosen guardian, it’s time to establish legal documentation. A will is a popular way to set up an estate plan, and you can include details about your chosen guardian in this document with the help of an estate planning attorney.

Navigating guardianship decisions with confidence

Choosing a guardian for your children is a hard but important decision. By understanding the process and legal requirements, you can ensure that your children will live with someone who respects and carries forward your values and wishes. Remember, proactive planning today secures your children’s well-being tomorrow.