If you have minor children, it’s important to decide who will take care of them if you meet an untimely death. Although it’s a difficult subject to think about, naming a guardian in your will is the only way to ensure you have a say in who ends up raising your kids. The established estate planning attorney, John E. Bach Attorney at Law in Goshen, NY, has helped numerous clients put together solid documents over the last three decades. To get you started, he offers some advice for the selection process.
Explore your options carefully.
When deciding on a guardian, determine the type of person you want rearing your kids and what you prefer their home life to look like. There are a variety of factors to think about, including location, religious, political, and moral beliefs, age and health, financial status, and family situation. Choose your priorities as you take each of these elements into account and narrow down the options. Remember to consider both friends and family.
Ask permission before proceeding.
Once you’ve come to a decision, ask the potential guardian if they would be willing to take on the role. If you skip this step and the person you’ve chosen doesn’t want the responsibility or doesn’t feel capable, it will cause problems in court, and there won’t be another opportunity to make a new selection. Don’t be afraid of rejection, as it’s better to know while there’s still the chance to name someone else.
Fail to make your wishes known.
Leaving behind a letter of instruction for your guardian will provide the guidance and support they need, as well as give you peace of mind that they know how you would like your kids raised. Draft a set of guidelines explaining the hopes and dreams you have for your children, your parenting values, and what you want their trust fund used for.
Neglect to make it legal.
Appointing a guardian won’t mean much if you don’t make it legal. Write out a will detailing your guardianship decision. You must also go through the proper steps to execute the document so that there’s no question about its validity in court. An attorney will assist you with this process and ensure there are no errors or issues.
Designating a guardian for your children is an essential part of the estate planning process. If you have additional questions about how to make the right decision, consult with an attorney who specializes in drafting wills. John E. Bach Attorney at Law will help you create an estate plan that stands up in court so that you can be confident your final wishes are upheld. Contact his office at (845) 294-7941 to schedule a consultation, or visit the attorney online to learn more about his expertise in this practice area.