Appointing an individual to take care of your child in the unfortunate event where you and your spouse are unable to do so may sound simple, but it can often be much more challenging than most people realize. None of us like thinking about our mortality, but once you become a parent, it’s important to put a plan in place to ensure your offspring are cared for in the event that you pass away. If you need to begin planning for your family’s future, our estate planning attorneys in Bethesda are here and ready to help. JDKatz is proud to be your local resource for estate law, relying on years of experience and a diverse team to create the best results for your unique situation. Our estate lawyers can provide dedicated litigation services, but we’re also here to provide you with tax advice, help with wills, probate, and more.
We’re well-versed in the challenges of planning for your family’s future if you were to die. One of the biggest decisions in your estate plan is choosing a guardian for your minor children. This individual will become the primary caretaker for your little one, making it essential to choose the right person. Choosing wrong may result in long-term challenges and negative outcomes for all parties involved. Today, we’ll discuss a few tips that may help you appoint the right guardian. If your estate plan is not as complete as you’d like it to be, contact us afterward for expert help!
Similar Parenting Approaches
One simple way to narrow down your list of qualified candidates is to choose a guardian that has a very similar parenting approach to your own. Many parents fret over how their child will be raised if they pass away, and finding a like-minded individual can help to put some of your fear to bed. Another consideration is the fact that your children will go through drastic changes in the event that you pass on. Appointing a guardian with similar parenting styles will help to ensure continuity and some form of regularity during this tough transition.
Similar parenting styles include different aspects of life that will be taught to your child, including:
- Educational values
- Moral values
- Social values
- Religious beliefs
Consider Close Friends
When it comes to deciding on a guardian, many parents turn to close family members for assistance. If you are having a difficult time deciding between one family or another, it can help to widen the net to include other qualified adults. Family friends are a good place to start, as these individuals will be well-acquainted with your children and your parenting style. In some cases, parents have found success when speaking with their child’s teachers, child care providers, and fellow church members. As long as you find a trustworthy individual to take care of your little ones, it does not matter whether or not they’re related by blood. If you need help with this decision, our estate planning attorneys are here and ready to assist.
Choosing Multiple Guardians
In some situations, it may prove beneficial to appoint more than one guardian. Taking guardianship over a child is no small task, and your first choice may be unable to provide the full extent of care you expect. In this case, you can elect additional guardians to help.
Focus on Guardian Health
From a practical standpoint, there are numerous considerations you must factor into your decision when choosing a guardian for your child. Raising a child is no easy task, and individuals who are getting on in years or afflicted with health concerns may not be the best choice for your guardianship. The last thing you want is for your child to come into a loved one’s care after your passing, only to have that guardian pass away as well. Be sure to speak with your candidates openly about any long-term health concerns they have. Doing so now may prevent numerous complications in the future!
Focus on Care, Not Wealth
One factor that plays into your decision is the financial burden of raising a child being placed on their guardian. While this may play a role in the decision, it’s important to remember that your resources can be utilized for the care of your offspring. Life insurance, for example, is a payout that can provide major support in child care. In your estate plan, you can even make designations for your guardian in terms of financial assistance, delivering more capital for care, school, or even to create an addition to their home for your child.
Officialize Your Decision
Once you have decided on the best guardian for your child, it’s important to confirm your agreement in writing. Oral agreements are helpful for making decisions, but when it comes to wills and estates, verbal confirmations are not enough. If you need help in this step of appointing a guardian, we can help!
Guardianship is no small responsibility for the individual you are trusting to raise your child. It’s important to take your time to find the best guardian to ensure long-term happiness and success for your children in case you pass away. JDKatz is here to help you through this tough process. Our estate planning attorneys in Bethesda are here and ready to lend a hand. You can rely on our vast experience and legal knowledge to deliver the best results. If you’re in need of an estate lawyer in Maryland to help with your plan, be sure to contact us today!