If you are a parent of young children, you may want to consider creating a guardianship for them as part of your estate plan. It can give you peace of mind, knowing that your children will be cared for according to your wishes in the event you are not able to if you are incapacitated, are sick or if you pass away.
Guardianship allows a designated person to make decisions on your child’s behalf. There are several benefits to this arrangement, including preventing potential family conflicts because you have already decided who will care for the children. It also provides stability for your children to know they will be with someone their parent trusts.
It can also avoid a lengthy court process because the guardian has already been chosen and can immediately step in to help.
Choosing a guardian
It’s important to choose a person as guardian who is fully willing to take on the responsibility and who will care for your children the same way you would.
You may want to consider whether the guardian has the same social, religious and educational values as you do. The guardian should be financially and emotionally stable. It’s not required, but it may be helpful if they have parenting experience.
Your estate planning documents should clearly state who is designated as the permanent guardian and you may also want to specify who would be in charge in the event of a temporary emergency, like a hospitalization. As your children grow and their needs change, you may want to review the guardianship.