Estate Planning: Four Tips to Choosing the Right Guardian for Your Minor Children

For parents, one of the most difficult things they will ever have to think about is who will take care of their children in the event of their untimely death. In fact, this is such a hard decision that many parents avoid it altogether, which leaves the fate of their children in the hands of the state. This is the last thing most parents would want to happen, but it’s what happens if they don’t take action.

There are many factors to consider when thinking about who will become the guardian of your children should you pass away. Below are four important considerations.

Think about Values

For many parents, instilling the right values and morals in their children is one of their most important jobs. Finding guardians who will have similar values as you is equally important. Think about things like religious beliefs, social values, educational priorities and overall child-rearing philosophies before settling on the right guardians.

Don’t Over-Emphasize Finances

Financial concerns are one of the first things that most people consider while naming a guardian, but don’t give this issue more weight than it needs. While children can be expensive, if you give estate planning the attention it demands, you will have life insurance or other assets to pay for your children’s needs, so the financial well-being of the potential guardian doesn’t have to be the main consideration. It is important that you can trust the guardian to properly care for the funds that you leave to support your kids… but their own wealth (or lack thereof) is less critical.

Don’t Automatically Select the First Name That Goes Through Your Head

While many people immediately default to a parent, brother or sister, this is not always the best choice. They may be blood related, but that doesn’t mean they will raise your children the way you would like. While sometimes the ‘obvious’ choice is best, that is not always the case. Related to this, don’t pick a guardian based on what you think people would expect. Consider only what you feel will be the best guardian for helping your children through the most difficult event in their lives.

All You Need is Love

It may sound overly simplistic, but the bottom line is your children will need love more than anything else. Losing their parents is without a doubt the hardest thing they will endure and they need to be loved and cared for during this impossibly difficult time in their life. Consider who will be able to best love them through this, and guide them into a stable future.

If you’ve got questions about this process, or about estate planning in general, let’s talk. Contact us today!

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Written by Miller Law Office

Miller Law Office

The Miller Law Office is here to help you build and protect your legacy. Rather than having a traditional estate planning practice, which is focused on transactions (such as the drawing up of wills and other documents), we have a more relational focus – having on-going contact with clients over the long-term, helping clients to protect themselves and their families.