Posted on: 8 September 2015
As a parent, it can be uncomfortable and saddening to imagine both you and your spouse dying before your children become adults. But if you want to ensure that your kids' best interests are protected and your personal wishes are taken into account, it is important to think about guardianship. Naming a guardian to care for your children in the absence of parents is a serious decision that requires a lot of thought. Take the following into consideration when appointing a guardian for your children:
Make Sure the Person You Want to Appoint is Willing to Accept the Responsibility
You may have a family member or friend who you think would make a great guardian for your children in the event of the death of both you and your spouse, but it is important to have a serious conversation with that person to ensure that he or she are willing to accept the responsibility for raising your children to adulthood if you and your spouse are not alive to do so. Raising children is very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging, and not everyone will feel that they are up for standing in for the parents, no matter how much they love the children. Make sure that the person you name guardian of your children in your will or trust wants to be a guardian and will raise your children according to your wishes.
Life is extremely unpredictable, so ideally you and your spouse should have life insurance policies that have your children as beneficiaries in the event that you both pass away. The funds from your life insurance policies can go a long way in allowing the guardian that you appointed to provide everything your children need as they grow up. If you currently do not have a life insurance policy and can't afford to buy one, or if your policy is smaller than you would like it to be, it is important to choose a guardian who is willing and able to financially provide for your children while they are minors. Financial situations can be difficult to discuss with friends and family, but when it comes to guardianship, it is important to know that the named guardian can afford to raise your children if your life insurance policy isn't enough.
Make It Legal
If you're willing to appoint a person guardian of your children in the event of both their parents' death, you can most likely trust him or her. But it is always a good idea to have a lawyer either draw up a guardianship document or legally add the information about the named guardian to your will or trust documents. Doing so will make things easier legally if your appointed guardian ever has to take custody of your minor children due to the death of both parents.Share