Choosing a Guardian for Your Minor Children
For parents of young children, the most important element of the estate plan
is choosing a guardian for them. This is far more important than deciding
who will get the car and reducing estate tax. The decision you make for your
minor children could have a major impact on the rest of their lives. This is
why you should carefully consider your decision when choosing someone to
care for your children if something should happen to you and your spouse
while they are still under age.
Before you choose a guardian for your children, you will want to understand
what a guardian’s duties are, as well as what types of things you should look
for when considering people for this duty. The person that you choose to
raise your children should be someone who is emotionally ready for this
type of responsibility. Plus they should be in a financial position that would
allow them to take on this responsibility. And that person’s values should be
compatible with your own. Keep in mind that the person that raises your
children will have a great deal of influence in shaping their personalities.
For example, you may have a sister that you would like to raise your
children, but if she already has eight children and is a single mother, chances
are the burden of raising your children could be too much. Your brother may
be a perfect choice, but he may have a drinking problem or be of a
completely different religion than your family.
These are some of the more obvious problems that you may face when
choosing a guardian for your children. In addition to these problems, you
will need to decide if the guardian for your children will serve as the
financial overseer or trustee of their inheritance. In most cases people tend to
choose two different people for these responsibilities. This fosters balance
and prevents any abuse of your children’s inheritance.
Although an attorney can help you form an estate plan that names a guardian
for your children and provides for their future, you are the only one that
decides who will be the best person to care for your children. Don’t make
hasty decisions, but do act as soon as possible. You do not want the court to
decide who will become guardian of your children if you are no longer
around to care for them.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Oklahoma City OK of the Parman and
Easterday offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents
of Oklahoma City OK. To learn more about these free resources, please visit