It doesn’t matter if you’re a long-time parent, a new parent, or a soon-to-be parent; being prepared for unpredictable life situations can give you peace of mind in the event life gets too chaotic or when tragedy strikes. If you are a parent, you need a will, but many tell themselves this is something that can wait until later in life. However, what if something happens to you and you need to name a legal guardian for your kids.
Without a will, there will be no directives in place to determine who will take over guardianship of your children or where they will go. By naming a legal guardian, you will prevent unnecessary chaos and worry for your kids. Be proactive and make arrangements for your children in case the worst happens.
We understand these are hard conversations to think about, but they are necessary.
How to Choose a Guardian
For any parent, it can be hard to think of anyone raising your children but you. However, if something happens to you, it’s better to have them end off with someone you trust than someone you don’t.
When naming a legal guardian, choose someone who has the time, space, and financial means to care for them according to your wishes. Being a guardian isn’t for everyone, so pick someone who WANTS to be their guardian. Keep in mind that as your children grow, you may want to revise your guardianship periodically. As with anything, lives and circumstances change – illness, divorce, change of location, etc. That’s why you should consider a healthy guardian to raise their children until they turn 18.
It’s common for parents to pick a two-person household when making a will. However, as mentioned before, you want to account for potential life changes such as divorce when naming a legal guardian for your children. Sometimes the best option is picking a stable single-parent household, with or without other children. If you do opt for a twosome, consider which person you would prefer to raise your children in the event they divorce down the line.