Indeed, even the fictional parents in the popular television sitcom Modern Family struggled with this issue in a recent episode. While Jay and his new and much younger wife Gloria agonized and argued about whom they should name as a legal guardian for their minor child, their child was left at risk that if something happened to Jay and Gloria before they decided and properly named guardians in a legal document, a judge would make the decision for them. Not ideal, under any circumstances.
When naming a legal guardian for your minor children, there are many factors to consider, such as whether the guardian has similar values to yours or can provide a welcoming home environment. But the toughest decisions are often the most important. Consider the outcome if you died without having legal protections for your children in place. Your children could be subject to conflict between relatives or they could be raised by someone you would never want, or in a way you wouldn’t want. They could even temporarily be taken into the care of strangers.
Identifying and naming a legal guardian for your children in your estate plan is a difficult and important task. Don’t put off naming a legal guardian for your child. While thinking about what will happen to your child if you die is difficult even for fictional parents, your kids deserve the protection and you deserve the peace of mind that a legal guardian can provide.
Unfortunately, even if you have made the hard decisions and named legal guardians in a Will, your kids could still be at risk, because that would not take into account what happens if you become incapacitated, or if your named guardians all live far from your home, and it wouldn’t protect against anyone who may challenge your decisions. To ensure your kids are raised by the people you want, in the way you want, never taken into the care of strangers (even temporarily) and that your kids would never be raised by anyone you wouldn’t want, we prepare a comprehensive children’s care plan.
If you are ready to create a comprehensive children’s care plan that not only names a legal guardian for your child in your Will, but also ensures your kids care is fully provided for, in the short-term and the long-term, and in the event of your incapacity, then contact us to schedule a Family Legacy Planning Session and mention this article to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.
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