How to Name a Guardian for Your Child

Thinking about worst case scenarios for your life isn’t a very enjoyable undertaking, and planning for those worst case scenarios is even harder. Suddenly, you’re seriously discussing what would happen if, for example, you died. What would happen to your dog, who you love, who depends on you? What would happen to all of your property and your savings? Who would make decisions on your behalf? If you have children, pondering what would happen after your death takes on a whole new weight and meaning. What will happen to your children if you and your spouse pass away? Uncomfortable as it may be, it’s vital that you meet with an attorney and learn how to name a guardian for your child, to protect your child’s future and ensure your peace of mind.

How to Name a Guardian for Your Child

Attorneys must always be thinking about those worst case scenarios. It’s a tough job, but in doing so, we’re able to help our clients prepare for the future with confidence. So although it isn’t common for young parents to die and leave behind small children, it is a possibility that should be considered and planned for ahead of time. Many young parents neglect to plan their estate. They forget or feel an illusion of control (thinking of death: “It won’t happen to me”).

Unfortunately, terrible things do happen to unsuspecting people. You and your spouse might be hit by a car tonight on your way to the movie theatre. Does this mean you should cancel your date? No. It does mean that you should start preparing for the important issues that arise in such a tragic circumstance. And there’s more to it than simply learning how to name a guardian for your child. For example:

  • If you pass away, who will raise your child?

  • How will your money be spent on behalf of your child?

  • What if there is no money to provide for your child?

  • Who will make financial decisions for your child?

  • What will your child do if he or she inherits a large amount of money (likely from life insurance proceeds) at age 18?

If you don’t have an estate plan in place, the government will make these decisions for your child without your input. This is why it’s so important for young parents to have a plan in place to address these issues.

To learn how to name a guardian for your child, meet with a qualified attorney experienced in estate planning. Choosing the right person for the job will take a lot of thought and careful consideration, but naming the person is easy. With your attorney’s help, you will simply nominate the person in your will.

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If you’re a parent with young children, we invite you to view the Parks & Jones website and make an appointment with us to learn how to name a guardian for your child. Or if you’re a grandparent, encourage your children to talk to an attorney and make plans for your grandchildren. We realize the cost of estate planning is a major concern for young families, so we’ve developed a streamlined program designed to meet the pressing needs of young clients with small children. By limiting our services to the most important issues at hand, we’re able to lower the cost. Those important issues are:

  1. Naming a guardian for the child;

  2. Addressing the issue of what happens if the surviving spouse marries again; and

  3. Handling what happens to major assets like the house and life insurance proceeds.

So if you’re concerned about learning how to name a guardian for your child, we urge you to contact an attorney straightaway. There’s no time like the present!

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