Cool, new backpack, check! New Shoes, check! New clothes, check! Paper and pencils, check! Shiny new lunchbag, check! Guardian to care for my precious baby in case I am unable to…?
With the summer coming to an end and the kids starting or going back to school, we are in a frenzy to make sure they have every item on their school supply list and all the latest gear to be the coolest kid in class. We’ll do anything for our kids (trust me, I’m a mom- I know), but many times, the things we don’t do can end up hurting us and our children in the long run. This includes failing to plan for their care in the undesirable event that we are not around to do so. However, we can close this gap with the #1 item on our back to school list- a will naming a guardian for our minor children.
How it works
One of the most commonly used estate planning instruments- a will- is a document that specifies what we want to leave to whom in the event of our deaths. A will is also a critical document for parents of minor children because in it, we can name a guardian of our choosing that we’d like to select for the care of our most precious “assets” if you will- our children. Further, only a will is able to include naming of a guardian, unlike another commonly used estate planning tools.
Why it is so important
In my experience as a single mother, naming a guardian was the most important issue in planning my estate and what prompted me to put a plan together. Of course, I wanted to have a plan to distribute assets and name beneficiaries on my accounts, but leaving the care of my child in trusted hands was my #1 priority. Undoubtedly, there is nothing more important in any parent’s life than the care of their children, which makes having a will naming a guardian the most critical component of an estate plan.
Who it is for
This applies to all parents of minor children, regardless of martial status. For married couples that travel frequently together, naming a guardian can be beneficial should something happen to both parents simultaneously. Unmarried couples that live together or are engaged and share children together can also benefit from naming a guardian. Notably, stepchildren that have not been adopted by stepparents can be protected by naming the stepparent as a guardian in a will.
What to do now
Being away from our kids is something we never want to imagine (unless it’s the much needed small break just to collect our sanity for a moment), but planning for that event can reduce stress and family burden, with the peace of mind that we secured the trusted choice of care for our kids.
Live each day as if it were your last, and one day you will be right. Don’t leave the care of your child up to chance. Call today for a free consultation.