A guardianship is a very important tool for parents who are worried about what is going to happen to their children if both parents pass away. This is a frightening prospect for many parents, but it is one that shouldn’t be ignored. Here are a few points to remember about guardianships:
When you name a guardian for your children, you must consider each child individually. Some parents might find it necessary to name one guardian for a child but have a different one for another child. Think about whether the guardian will be able to handle the situation of taking on multiple children. If you don’t have someone who can care for all your children, it might necessary to split the caregiving responsibilities.
Some parents try to name more than one person. This enables you to have a backup plan just in case the primary person is unable to handle the duties.
Make sure that you discuss the designation with the person. This gives them a chance to prepare for the possibility of having a sudden family. This also gives you the opportunity to let them know what provisions, such as assets placed in a trust, that you are designating to help them with the care of your children.
Setting the guardianship designation is only one component of your estate plan. You need to make sure that you have a comprehensive plan in place so that all your wishes are known and can be upheld. In many cases, an estate plan will include end-of-life care information like a living will, powers of attorney designations, a will and trusts.