Selecting a legal guardian for your children is an important decision that requires careful consideration. A legal guardian is someone who has the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of your children if you are unable to do so. Here are some steps you can take to help you select a legal guardian for your children.
The Needs of the Children
The most important factor in selecting a legal guardian for your children is their needs. Think about what is most important to your children and what qualities you would want in a guardian to ensure their well-being. Some things to consider may include their age, their health and medical needs, their emotional needs, and educational needs.
Consider the potential guardian’s relationship with your children. It is important to select a legal guardian who has a strong relationship with your children and who is able to provide them with the love and support they need. This may be a family member, or it may be a close friend.
Age of Guardian
The potential guardian’s age and health are additional factors. If possible, you should choose a legal guardian who is of the appropriate age to be able to care for your children over the long term. A grandparent may make sense on one level, but health and longevity should be taken into account.
Values and Lifestyle
You should select a legal guardian who shares your values and who will provide a stable and nurturing environment for your children. Weigh the potential guardian’s anticipated parenting style, their financial resources, and their living situation.
Are They Ready, Willing, and Able?
This may be an overstatement of the obvious, but you should select a legal guardian who is willing and able to serve in this role. You should discuss the potential guardianship with the person you are considering and make sure they are ready to take on the responsibility if necessary.
Put It In Writing
Once you have selected a legal guardian for your children, you have to create a written document, such as a will or a guardianship nomination, to ensure that your wishes are legally binding.
Surveys find that younger adults that would typically be the parents of dependent children usually do not have estate plans. As a case in point, a 2022 Caring.com survey found that 24 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 had estate plans in place. The figure was 27 percent for the 35-54 age group.
The stakes are high when you are the parent of a dependent child or children. In addition to the nomination of a guardian, there are financial considerations. Yes, most young adults have not had the time to accumulate significant resources. Fortunately, there is a solution in the form of life insurance.
You also have to consider the management of financial resources on behalf of a minor child. A living trust is a potential solution. While you are living, you would be the trustee, and you would name someone to manage the trust after your passing. A testamentary trust is a trust that is contained in a will. It would go into effect after your passing, and this is another option.
Attend an Education Program!
Since you are here, you must be interested in learning more about estate planning and nursing home asset protection. You are making the ideal connection, because there are many resources on this site you can explore free of charge.
Plus, we offer in-person educational programs on an ongoing basis. The sessions are free as well, so this is a time investment that will yield dividends. You can click here to see the Oklahoma City estate planning program schedule, and this link leads to the Tulsa estate planning seminar dates.
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