A high percentage of people are not prepared from an estate planning perspective. While people of all ages are remiss, younger people are statistically less prepared than their older counterparts. It could be argued that estate planning is even more important for younger adults, particularly those with children. For these people, the nomination of a guardian is a must.
Nominating a Guardian
Let’s say that you and your spouse have three children. They are all minors. You are not concerned about planning your estate because you are only in your early 30s. You and your spouse are healthy, and you assume that you will have plenty of time to put these documents in place later on.
The two of you are together in the car heading over to the day care center to pick up the children. On the way a fatal automobile accident takes place, and you never make it to the center.
Who is going to take care of your children now that both parents are gone? The answer is that the state would have to decide on the fate of your children. A guardianship hearing would be initiated.
You probably have a very strong opinion about whom you would want to see raising your children if both parents were to pass away. You can make sure that your wishes become a reality if the unthinkable was to take place by nominating a guardian when you are drawing up a last will.
The will would be admitted to probate, and the court would be aware of the nomination.
Yes, it is unlikely that both parents will pass away before the children become adults in the eyes of the law. Be that as it may, you certainly don’t want to take any chances when the well-being of your children is potentially at stake.
Choosing the Right Guardian
When you are choosing a guardian you should consider a number of different factors. Ideally the children should already have a close relationship with the potential guardian. You would probably want to nominate someone who would naturally have a similar parenting style.
Your spiritual beliefs would also be something to take into consideration if you want the guardian to impart these same values to your children.
Geographical location is something to consider as well.
This may sound like an overstatement of the obvious, but you have to make sure that the person that you want to nominate will actually be willing to take on the role of guardian if it becomes necessary.
You may naturally assume that anyone that you nominate would be willing to raise the children. However, you never know for sure until you ask, because it is certainly an enormous responsibility.