A well-written will goes beyond making sure your assets end up in the right place. If you have minor children, your will must account for their care in case both you and your spouse die before they become adults. In the event this happens, you will need to have someone in mind who you would want to raise them. To ensure this outcome, you must name this person as your children’s guardian in your will.
The importance of having a guardian for your children
Naming a guardian for your children is crucial if you want to control who will raise them if you and your spouse unexpectedly die. By failing to do so, the court, in the event of your passing, will appoint a guardian for your children. It is possible that the individual the court chooses could be someone who you would not want to be their guardian. Appointing one in your will, then, will prevent this outcome.
Choosing a guardian for your children
When naming a guardian for your children, you will want to make sure the person you choose would bring them up in a similar manner to you and your spouse. If you want your children to stay in the same community, or if you want them raised in a certain belief system, you must account for these factors when making your decision. You will also want to make sure your choice guardian’s health or age will not impede them from fulfilling their duty as needed. And you will want to make sure that they have a stable family and financial situation as well.
Naming your children’s guardian in your will
Before you name a guardian for your children, you will want to confirm that the person you want to appoint is willing to fulfill their role. To make sure that they are, you must discuss it with them. You will want to have an alternative guardian in mind in case your first choice refuses their appointment.
If your first-choice guardian is willing to care for your children, you must update your will to formally name them to their role. To ensure their appointment is enforceable, you will want to make it with the help of an attorney with estate planning experience.