At a time when many of us are making vacation plans, I’m reminded of when my husband and I were about to set off on our first vacation as young parents where we would be traveling by plane. We had yet to choose a guardian for our young son and, to be honest, the idea of leaving without making our wishes known had me in a panic. We don’t often think or even want to think about our mortality and what would happen to our children if we were no longer around. But at times like these, we are forced to think ahead.
Selecting a guardian is an important part of the estate planning process for the parents of minor children. In the rare event that both parents die; If there are no Wills in place that name a guardian for minor children, the Court will make the decision regarding guardianship.
This means that a judge that the parents do not know could determine who will take care of their children for the remainder of their childhood. The judge will, of course, make her decision based on what she deems is in the best interest of the child, but, this may or may not be the person the parents would have chosen. It is important to keep in mind that your children will not immediately go to a grandparent or sibling if the judge does not find that they are fit for guardianship.
Naming a guardian (and any alternates) in your Will can provide you with the peace of mind to know that your child will be taken care of by someone that you thoughtfully and purposefully selected.
As a parent, you always want to provide for your children and part of this includes planning for the unthinkable. If you do not already have estate planning documents in place that address these important issues, call our office today at (336) 475-6522 so that we can help.