Designating a Legal Guardian for Your Children
It is essential to plan for a situation where your children may need a guardian, even though it may be uncomfortable to think about your potential incapacity or death. Choosing a guardian for your children is a responsible action that you can take today to help ensure the well-being of your children in case of an unforeseen event.
Failing to plan for the possibility of your incapacity or death means that the court will determine who will take care of your children if the need arises. And while the court attempts to provide for the best interests of the child, the appointment may not align with your wishes. In addition, if you think someone outside the family would make the best guardian, it is imperative that you prepare a proper legal document to express this as many courts will usually prioritize family members for an appointment they make.
Selecting a guardian for your minor children involves careful consideration and reflection. Finding a single person who meets all the necessary qualifications may be difficult, so it is crucial to prioritize and balance the considerations with each potential guardian.
One of the key considerations when choosing a guardian is the relationship between the potential guardian and your children. It is essential to find someone who your children are comfortable with and who has a positive relationship with them.
Another important factor is choosing a guardian who shares your values and parenting style, and who will raise your children similarly. For example, if religion is a significant part of your family life, you may want to select a guardian who will raise your children according to your faith. Additionally, it is essential to assess things like the potential guardian’s living situation, age, and location as well as their financial stability.
Even if your estate plan includes adequate life insurance for the care of your children, you’ll want to entrust their care to someone who is financially responsible—or consider a separate guardian of the estate for your children to manage their finances for them. Finally, the potential guardian must be willing to take on the responsibility of raising your children.
Selecting a guardian for your children is a significant decision, and it is essential to take the time to find the right fit. It’s a big responsibility to ask someone to step in as guardian, but it is also an honor to be asked. Once you’ve selected a guardian and they accept the role, be sure to keep communication channels open in case any circumstances change. And, of course, if the circumstances do change, make sure to update your estate plan accordingly.
Work with an Experienced Florida Estate Planning Attorney
If you need to update your guardian nomination, we are here to help. Call 941-914-9145 to fill out our contact form and we will be in touch to schedule a meeting.