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Considerations When Choosing a Guardian

Considerations When Choosing a Guardian

August 16, 2023

Proper estate planning involves asking and answering some difficult questions. One of the hardest is, “Who do I trust to care for my minor children if I die before they are of legal age?” The second hardest question is, “Is that person(s) willing to assume the responsibility?”

The answers to these questions deserve the utmost consideration and an honest, in-depth conversation with the person you wish to appoint. Are they willing to take on what surely will be a life-changing situation? Do they understand that the court will likely want to vet them, which could include a background check, credit check, request for references, and home visits?

If you do have someone you can trust and who is willing to assume this responsibility, it is important they keep in touch through the years to let you know of any change in circumstances.

If the guardians you have identified in your will refuse or are unable to serve, the court will step in and appoint a new guardian for your children. In this situation the court will typically look to close family members, such as grandparents or aunts and uncles, to serve as the new guardian. The process of appointing a new guardian can be lengthy and costly.

This can be problematic on several levels as the money to fund the appointment may come from your estate, and the court's decision may not align with your wishes or values, so it's essential to choose your guardians carefully. It is also a good idea to name alternate guardians in your will in case your primary choices are unable or unwilling to serve.

At One Financial Services, we will help to guide you through all of your estate planning needs. Your One Financial Services advisor is an experienced, credentialed professional who will help to create a plan that accurately reflects your wishes and addresses all necessary contingencies to protect the future of your family.