Parents provide their child with support at every stage of their life, from providing for their physical needs to supporting their emotional needs. However, if you pass away before your child reaches adulthood, you will not be present to offer that support. Thankfully, parents with underage children can name a guardian in their will. What should parents know about this estate planning step?
Naming a guardian in your will allows you to choose who will care for your child.
If you pass away before your child is an adult, who do you trust to raise them? Is this the person that the court would choose? Naming a guardian for your child in your will allows you to choose the person you trust to provide for your child rather than leaving that decision up to the court.
Who is the right person to act as a guardian?
When selecting a guardian, it is key for new parents to select someone who can meet your child’s best interests. This can involve a variety of questions, including:
- Does the person you chose have the resources to meet your child’s physical and emotional needs?
- Are they willing to act as your child’s guardian?
- Are they young enough that they could support your child for several years?
- Will they raise your child with the religious beliefs you value?
- If they live some distance away, are they willing and able to support your child’s relationship with family in the area?
You may also want to discuss your wishes with the person you choose or to outline those wishes in your will itself. This can ensure that your wishes for your child are clear.
Naming a guardian is one important way for parents to ensure that their underage child has the support they need no matter what the future brings.