Drafting an estate plan largely centers around choosing who will inherit your assets when you die. Nonetheless, there are also major decisions to factor in.
If you have young children, then you most likely want to nominate someone to look after them if something happens to you. People in this position are known as guardians.
Choosing a guardian is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. Outlined below are a few mistakes that you may want to avoid.
1. Not nominating a guardian
It can be very difficult to choose a guardian and many parents choose simply not to do it. Unfortunately, if something does happen to the parents and no guardian is named, then the decision lies with the court.
While the court will always do its utmost to rule in the best interests of the child, they are not in tune with specific family relationships. The person they choose may not be ideal and not who you would have nominated.
2. Limiting your options
Once you have nominated your guardian it’s still possible for you to change your mind in the future. You don’t have to stick with your original choice if they’re no longer suited to the role. You can also name a backup in case something happens to your first choice.
3. Assuming your choice is willing
It’s important to make sure that you and your nominated guardian are on the same page. Raising a child for a period that potentially stretches over a decade is a challenging task that requires commitment. Make sure you have the discussion with your prospective guardian before making things official.
If you’re making changes to your estate plan or starting afresh, it’s important to cover all angles. Seeking legal guidance will help you to address all of your final wishes.