When it comes to estate planning, many younger adults might not think they need to worry about creating a will or a trust. However, people of all ages can benefit from laying out their wishes should they die or become incapacitated due to an accident. For adults with minor children, the need to do this is great as estate planning should involve determining who will raise their children in these situations.
As explained by U.S. News and World Report, when establishing a guardianship for a minor child, there are two types of guardians that will be needed. One is the guardian of the person. This guardian will be responsible for the day-to-day care and raising of the child. The other is a guardian of the estate. This person will manage the financial assets left for the care of the child.
When evaluating options for both forms of guardians, especially the guardian of the person, parents should remember that this decision is not one to be based on familial relationships alone. Unlike naming a godparent, this person will have incredible responsibility and influence on a child’s life. Forbes recommends that parents begin their selection process by identifying the values with which they want their child to be raised and then creating a list of people they know who exhibit those values.
A potential guardian’s emotional stability, financial security and physical health should all be evaluated. Once a shortlist of candidates is made, parents should talk to each one to assess readiness for the task. Backup guardians for both the estate and the child’s care should be named as well.