When you’re a parent, nothing is more important than the welfare of your children. While many of us would rather not think about it, giving serious thought to the issue of your children’s guardianship in the event of your death is an essential part of your estate planning.
Some parents mistakenly assume that having assigned Godparents or having verbally discussed guardianship with their family members is sufficient. Unfortunately, this is not the case. To properly ensure that your children are cared for in accordance with your wishes in the event that you pass away, you should work with an estate planning attorney and memorialize your wishes.
Who Should Have Guardianship of My Children?
Guardianship is a major commitment, and it is often a difficult decision for the parents and the appointed guardian(s), as many issues come into play.
Before sitting down with your estate attorney, parents may want to consider the following:
- Are these guardians young enough to care for my children now? In ten years?
- Do my children have a strong relationship with them?
- Do they have values and beliefs that are in line with my own?
- If a guardian was married and predeceased you, how would you feel about the spouse alone having guardianship?
- Do the guardians have the financial, emotional, and logistical resources to care for my children as well as their own?
- Are these guardians comfortable with all of our extended family, such that they could foster ongoing relationships with our relatives?
- If these guardians are unable or unwilling to care for my children, who would be my second and third choices?
What Can An Estate Attorney Do For Me?
If you have children, you need an attorney who specializes in estate planning. An estate planning attorney can advise and ensure that your guardianship wishes are memorialized in your Last Will and Testament.
Contact Nodelman Law, a New Jersey and New York estate planning firm, at 212-212-710-2789 ext. 2753 for a free initial consultation to answer your questions about guardianship.