Unlikely events can and do happen. If both parents of children die simultaneously, say in a vehicular accident, then who cares for their children? Who raises their children? Who determines how the money they leave behind for their children is spent? Guardianships and wills are essential for parents of minor children. These tools allow parents to name a caretaker in advance. Without a will, the court will decide such “guardianship.”
Guardianships Allow You to Name a Caretaker
We might love and respect all of our family members, but we usually have our favorites when it comes to who we think could best handle the day to day affairs of raising our children, or who might be the best emotional provider. We might even have a good friend we would prefer in this role. With a will we can select exactly who will be the guardian of our children. We can even select prioritized backup guardians in the event our chosen guardian is unable to serve. With a will, and if desired, we can additionally choose a “property guardian.” This person would handle the financial management of the money your children inherit from you. This might make sense if your chosen guardian is a fantastic caregiver, but maybe not so adept with financial decisions.
Wills Ensure Your Wishes are Upheld
Beyond ensuring our wishes are upheld for the guardianship care of our minor children, stating these choices in a will also alleviates stress on the larger family that is left behind. Oftentimes, relationships within families can be seriously strained when there are competing interests in being guardian, say between in-laws or amongst siblings; and worse is that these deliberations have to play out in court with a judge making the decision. A will helps preserve familial peace at a time when everyone, especially our children, need it most.
Trusts Provide Further Protection
I highly recommend every parent of minor children have a will in place. For further protections, consider a trust in conjunction with the will’s guardianship provisions. Consult an estate planning attorney to ensure your minor children are provided for in alignment with the fullness of your wishes.
Contact us and let’s talk about how we can help secure your family’s future.