Perhaps the most important aspect of the estate planning process is the peace of mind it brings that loved ones, family and children will be cared for according to their wishes. This allows those who have crafted a comprehensive estate plan to rest easy, but it is also why everyone should consider having an estate plan. Importantly, those who are parents can and should ensure they name a guardian for their children as part of the plan.
Important things to keep in mind when naming a guardian
Parents going through the estate planning process should understand the importance of designating a guardian and also how to select one. When designating a guardian, parents should make an informed decision and trained guidance may help them make the best decision possible.
For example, consider religious preference, physical ability, emotional stability, financial responsibility, location and that the guardian will survive the estate planner. Parents should also ensure that whoever they name as guardian is willing and able to serve as guardian if needed.
As part of the plan, parents should also include any specific wishes for their child’s upbringing, such as wishes related to religion and education. They should also keep in mind that they can amend their designation and their will if they change their mind about who the guardian should be or if the guardian changes their mind about serving as guardian.
Review estate plan and make changes as necessary
As always, parents should review their estate plan periodically and make any changes based on life changes or other changes. If there are any major life changes, those with an estate plan may want to review the current version and make any necessary changes. Of note, a parent does not have to notify a guardian they remove of their removal – should something happen that means the possible guardianship is no longer the best option.
In sum, it is important to carefully designate a guardian as part of the overall estate planning process. To do that, parents should be familiar with how to make that important decision and craft a comprehensive plan to ensure children are taken care of should anything happen.