Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Choose a Guardian for Your Children When Planning Your Estate


It's not fun to think about what will happen to your family after your death, but the fact is that most parents die before their children. If you're planning your estate and have young children, one of the most important decisions you'll have to make is who will become guardian of your children if you pass away before they are adults.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You'll Need

  • Lawyer
  • Will



Step One

Choose a friend or family member who is young and in good health so that he or she will be able to care for your children for the remainder of their lives.

Step Two

Consider a guardian who is not already overwhelmed with responsibilities.

Step Three

Ask your children to name adults they feel close to.

Step Four

Ask the potential guardian before writing them into your will. It is best to find a guardian willing to take the children. You don't want to designate someone who will refuse that duty and throw your children into the foster-care system.

Step Five

Look for a guardian who lives nearby or would be willing to move into your house so that your children will not have to move.

Step Six

Update your will often. People's life situations change, so you should be sure that the guardian you've chosen in the past is still appropriate.

Step Seven

Provide for other necessities (such as money) to be available to the guardian to be used for your children.

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