The last thing any parent wants to consider is how their children will survive after their passing. Though it may be too painful to imagine leaving your child, taking these matters into your own hands will provide you the peace of mind that every parent deserves. As uncomfortable or distressing of a conversation it may be, you must strongly consider naming a guardian for your child in the event that both you and your child’s other parent die or become incapacitated. Failing to do so will result in a chaotic legal battle that likely places your child in the wrong home. To ensure your wishes are legally upheld after your death, you must very cautiously and specifically designate your selected guardian in your will or living trust.
Naming your child’s guardian is an absolutely crucial decision. A guardian has custody and care of a child close to that of a parent, as he or she will provide the child’s home and make everyday decisions about the child’s health, education, and safety. Who you entrust with this responsibility must understand just how deeply crucial it is to become a child’s minor guardian. The best way to ensure your child’s wellbeing is to take great care in making this decision by considering the following key points:
- Location – Where do you want your child to be raised? Is it in their best interests to move?
- Age – The loss of a parent is devastating enough. Your child should not have to endure the pain of losing their guardian, too. Though you may trust an older candidate, consider any medical restrictions or potential future limitations.
- Religion, Education, & Health – These are the most defining areas of a child’s life. Are you on the same page as the intended guardian? It is important to share a similar belief system with this individual, as well as likeminded views on matters such as discipline, politics, and other lifestyle choices.
- Family environment – If your chosen guardian already has children, will your child thrive in a blended family? Children over a certain age may experience difficulty adjusting to their new siblings.
- Co-guardians – If you have more than one child and want your children to stay together, does your chosen guardian have the emotional, physical, financial, and mental capacity to provide this care? A pair of co-guardians, such as a married couple, can jointly raise your children.
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Percy Law Group, PC is led by a distinguished team of top-rated estate planning attorneys who are focused on protecting and promoting the best interests of our clients, no matter what it takes. If you are facing the important and intimidating prospect of starting your last will and testament, allow us to take care of the complexities of this process for you.
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