Many parents put off their need for an estate plan. However, as a parent, it’s important to plan as soon as possible so that you and your family are protected throughout life. One of your most important decisions is the naming of a guardian.
Naming a good guardian ensures that your children will always be in good hands. Take a look at the example below to better understand this important estate planning need. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to begin your estate plan, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.
Joan is a single mother to her two children Samuel and Ryan. She works hard to provide for her children as they continue to grow.
Joan always put off her estate planning because she was busy working and taking care of her children. Unfortunately, Joan was killed by a distracted driver while her children were still young.
Because she had no estate plan, her affairs will be determined in court. Her assets will be distributed based on her state’s laws. Because she hadn’t created a will to appoint a guardian for Samuel and Ryan, the court will be left to make this important decision.
The court decides to appoint Joan’s sister, Megan, as guardian. Little does the court know, Megan is an alcoholic. With this decision, Samuel and Ryan will be forced to grow up in a toxic environment. They will also not get the level of care and attention that is needed.
Based on the facts before it, the court will make the best decision possible so that all children receive the good care and love. Unfortunately, it’s hard to the court to know every detail. This includes the history of a family member, personal problems, and family dynamics that may make an individual not fit to serve as a guardian.
Make sure that you take the time to create an estate plan so you are the one who makes the important decision of who will serve as guardian for your children.