One of the most important things you do when you make a will is name someone who will take guardianship of your children if you and your partner face an untimely death.
What some parents don’t realize is that this task can be divided into two. If you think it is in the best interest of your children to do so, you may appoint one person as the physical and legal guardian of your children, while giving another person the power to manage any assets you leave behind.
Palmer & Slay’s experienced team of estate planning attorneys can help you figure out who to appoint as your children’s guardian. And if you want to divide the task between two people, we can craft custom estate planning documents that secure your child’s future.
What makes a good guardian?
The person you and your partner choose to be the guardian of your children should have a strong relationship with your children and be prepared to love them like their own. Beyond that, you might want to take into consideration:
- the guardian’s age
- the guardian’s physical and emotional health
- whether the guardian is responsible for other children
- how the guardian’s religious background or core values differ from your own
- the guardian’s work-life balance
- the ability of the guardian to take on the financial burden of raising your children
What if an otherwise great guardian is not so good with money?
Sometimes, when the Palmer & Slay team is working with parents to select a guardian, money becomes a serious sticking point. Your minor children aren’t going to be able to manage the assets you leave to them by themselves. Can the guardian you have picked out do it for them?
When the answer to this question has you second guessing your choice of guardian, it may be wise to consider dividing up the guardianship duties between two different people. Give one the custody and legal responsibility for your children, and the other power over the assets you are leaving behind.
The financial guardian can ensure your children are being well taken care of, and protect their inheritance from waste or mismanagement. This can be especially important if you are leaving behind a large estate that needs special attention. You want the primary guardian of your children to focus on raising them, not managing a portfolio of assets.
Palmer & Slay: Preserving Your Wealth. Protecting Your Loved Ones.
Deciding who you should name as guardian of your children if the worst should happen is a difficult decision. Nobody is going to be as good of a parent to your children as you are, but finding a person — or two people — who can step up is still something you need to do as part of the estate planning process.
If you need assistance crafting a custom estate plan that fits your family’s unique needs, the Palmer & Slay team is here for you. Please contact us today to schedule a meeting with our experienced, Brandon, Mississippi-based attorneys.