Choosing Guardians in an Estate Plan
Estate planning involved decisions that are about more than just what will you do with your money and property. If you have minor children, your estate plan will also need to include provisions about what will be done with your children if you are not here and how they will be raised.
Have the Conversation First
Before listing someone as the guardian for your children in your estate plan, make sure that you speak with them first to make sure that they are willing to serve in that role. The worst possible thing is for a guardian to be needed, but the person named does not want to fulfill the responsibilities. Not only should you verify that they want to be the guardian, but you should also discuss specific plans for raising the children. Things should never be a surprise to those who will likely already be making contingency plans quickly.
Put It in Writing
The estate plan should spell out any conditions or wishes that you have for how you want your children to be raised. For example, you may want them raised according to a certain religious faith. However, if it is not in your estate plan, the conditions will not endure if you are no longer here. Your estate plan is the way that you make your desires known when you are not here to put them into practice.
Choose the Best Guardian
Many people will consider the age of the prospective guardian and may hesitate to choose them if they are older. This includes the child’s grandparents. However, families should plan for today as opposed to the possibility of what may happen if the prospective guardian can provide for the most continuity for the children. In other words, families should not overthink the decision of who to name at the guardian. An estate planning lawyer in Las Vegas can advise you how to do this effectively.