If something happens to you and your spouse that leaves you unable to raise your children, have you considered could step in to fill your shoes? No one likes to think about it, but it is better to be prepared, particularly if you have young children. This is a topic you should have covered in your estate plan, otherwise, the decision will fall to a court to decide. When you and your spouse plan, it allows you to consider the best interests of your children, which may be lacking in any decision made by a court of law.
When choosing a guardian, consider these 8 factors:
1. As a prospective guardian, do they have a genuine interest in your children’s well-being?
2. As a prospective guardian, do they share your values?
3. Is the prospective guardian capable of handling the role physically and emotionally? If you cannot provide financial assets, are they able to fulfill this role financially?
4. If the prospective guardian has children of their own, will they be able to make enough time to adequately care for and look after your children as well?
5. Is the geographic location of the prospective guardian problematic? Would this require your children to uproot their lives taking them from friends and family?
6. Would you name the same guardian for all your children? Most parents will name the same guardian for all their children, but in some circumstances, such as when your children are of significantly different ages, naming more than one guardian may be a better option.
7. Would your situation be best managed if you choose multiple people to act as guardians – one person to act as personal guardian and another to act as Custodian or Trustee and manage the financial arrangements for your children? This option is worth considering when the best surrogate parent for your children is not necessarily the best person to handle financial matters.
8. Most importantly – is the prospective guardian aware of the possibility of becoming your children’s guardian, and willing to take on the role?
We have helped many couples select the ideal guardian for their children and designed wills or other planning documents to ensure their wishes are carried out. We welcome the opportunity to do the same for you. To learn more about estate planning or to address any other estate planning matter do not hesitate to call the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia at 770-822-2723 or contact us through our website.
Contact Attorney James M. Miskell