One of the most important jobs of an estate planning attorney is to help parents choose the right guardian for their children. This is the person (or people) designated by you to care for your minor children if you should die before they become adults. Working with an estate attorney to choose a guardian gives you a say in the process, rather than turning it over to the courts who may or may not make the same decisions you would.
Having the proper legal documentation in place means your wishes will be carried out for the care of y
ur minor children. There are some important considerations to be made when choosing a guardian.
One of the first things parents tend to consider is financial ability. This makes sense. After all, you want to ensure your children are raised comfortably and you are not putting an undue burden on the guardian you choose. Hopefully, parents have a financial plan in place that provides for their children. For younger couples, that would be life insurance. This fact alone is enough to encourage parents to contact an estate planning attorney in the first place.
But, there are other considerations to keep in mind, many of which are arguably even more important than financial means. For example, parents should choose a guardian whose values are consistent with their own. Does your family strongly value education or do you have devout religious beliefs? Choosing a guardian who shares these values should probably be a high priority.
Of course, you do need to consider the guardian’s ability to support your children. This is precisely why you need to work with an estate planning attorney. Not only will he or she help you put together the legal documentation required to name a guardian, but this professional will also help you create the financial means for your child(ren)’s care.
Setting Up the Right Trust For Your Child
An attorney may assist you in creating any number of trusts which can be used for your child’s upbringing. Money from these trusts can be used for basic care, as well as earmarked for future education. While you won’t be there physically, you can still help guide your children’s future. And, you will have much more influence when you choose a guardian who will raise your children with similar morals and values to your own.
Other things to consider when choosing a guardian for your child:
- Do they have a similar parenting style to your own?
- Is your child already comfortable with this person?
- Are they willing to take on the responsibility?
- Will they be emotionally able to care for your children after your death?
Our firm goes way beyond just the nomination of guardians. We put a plan in place in the event of an emergency. First responders will have the legal documents necessary to retain custody of the children so there is never a risk that they will be placed with Child Protective Services. Moreover, invaluable information will be provided to guardians about the parents' wishes on a range of topics, such as education, religion, discipline, and more.
Peace of mind is our business quite frankly. Work with a trusted Calabasas & Beverly Hills estate planning attorney to make your decisions legal and binding.