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Importance of naming a guardian for your children

| Apr 6, 2019 | Estate Planning

If you have children and are working on your will in Pennsylvania, you are probably focusing on how to divide your assets among them when you pass away. However, one thing every parent must also consider is what happens to the children if you both die before they turn 18? It is imperative you name a guardian in the rare event both parents pass away earlier than expected.

According to Forbes, choosing a guardian is one of the hardest decisions parents make because there are not that many perfect choices. However, if you do not name someone, the court makes the decision, and it could be someone you personally would never choose. There are many factors involved with choosing a guardian, and one is financial. Ideally, your trust should be adequate to pay for your children’s expenses, but you also should consider the financial situation of potential guardians.

Babycenter recommends sitting down and writing out a list of potential caretakers and then discussing each one. First of all, it should be someone your children already like and feel close to. You should also consider those who have similar values, parenting styles and religious beliefs. Other considerations include:

  • Location of guardian – ideally it is best if your children do not have to move far or change schools
  • If guardian has other children – is adding more a burden, or are they close in age and would be a good fit?
  • Guardian’s physical and emotional state – he or she should have the time and energy to care for your children 

Another important aspect is the potential guardian needs to want to take this on. Sit down and have a meaningful conversation before making any decision.