When you have minor children you start to have to consider things you might have ignored in the past. Like, what will happen to your family and things should something unexpectedly happen to you. As a parent, I often think about how to protect my children. And I think most parents do. But sometimes the process can be so overwhelming that you’re just not sure where to begin.
Designating Legal Guardians For Your Minor Children
Sometimes it can be unclear who you should name as guardian to raise your children if you’re not able to. Close family members are often chosen but friends can be a suitable choice, too. It can be tempting to choose a family that’s financially stable so that you know that the children will be taken care of.
However, that should not be a key consideration. The assets you leave behind will be available for the benefit of your children, including life insurance. The people you choose as guardians should be chosen on the basis that they share your values and would raise the children in the way that you would if you were to be raising them.
Consider Emergency Scenarios
It’s also important to look at not just who the long-term guardians will be, but also who will step in an emergency situation. Sometimes the guardians you choose will live in another state or even another country. What happens in a scenario where you’re out for dinner and unfortunately, you don’t make it home? The police are going to show up at the house and they’re not going to leave the children with the babysitter who has no authority to stay with them. Nor they’re going to search for a will to see who you’ve named as guardians.
They’re going to have no choice but to arrange for the authorities to take care of the children temporarily until the long-term guardians have arrived. That is a terrifying thought for most parents. To avoid this situation, we help you to choose short-term guardians that can step in in an emergency and we have a whole package of measures that can help ensure that children are never placed in the care of strangers even temporarily.
Contact a San Diego estate planning attorney for more information.