Naming a Guardian? Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes

Who you name as a guardian for your minor child or other loved one is one of the most crucial decisions you will have to make when you are putting your estate plans together. After all, you don’t want just anyone taking care of your child should you pass away or become incapacitated. No, you want the absolute best person that can possibly be there for them should the unthinkable happen.

While it is easier to fall into the “it-won’t-happen-to-me” thinking, the fact is that anything can happen at any time. Without the proper, updated guardianship documents in place, a judge will be the one who appoints the guardian, and who they choose may not be who you would choose.

The best time to appoint a guardian is now. We at The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC will make this process as easy and painless as possible for you. If you are making or have made these following mistakes in choosing a guardian, please call us at (978) 263-6900, and let us fix it for you:

  • Not having guardianship documents in your estate plans – The biggest, most common mistake of all is thinking that you and your spouse are invincible and thinking that you won’t ever need guardianship documents in place. We will help make the process as thorough and as efficient as possible so you can get back to your busy lives.
  • Picking only one potential guardian – It’s absolutely crucial that you name an alternate guardian in case your first pick does not work out or something happens to them. You may feel like you are extremely sure about this one person taking on the role of guardian, but it’s always practical to have another option readily available. Take the time to talk to your first choice as well as your alternates about potentially taking on this role. With that being said, you may also want to name the people you specifically DON’T want taking on the role of guardian.
  • The issue of naming married couples – If the couple you named as guardians of your child ends up divorcing (as unlikely as it may be right now), it poses a significant conflict about who will end up being the guardian over the child. This is remedied by specifically indicating in your will and guardianship documents what happens in the event that one person in the couple dies or they end up getting divorced.
  • The value of having a trust – By setting up a trust, you can effectively “set aside” any investments, insurance benefits, real estate, etc. for your minor child and ensure that they will actually get it should something happen to you. A trust will help those assets avoid probate proceedings taking a chunk out of what your child is supposed to get.
  • Short-term guardianship – You will also want to name a short-term guardian to take care of your child until the long-term care guardian arrives. In case of an emergency, your babysitter or nanny may not know who to call or what to do. A short-term guardian will temporarily take on the role of guardian and look over your child as you wished. If you don’t appoint a short-term guardian, there’s no family in town, and the police are called, they will put your child into protective custody.

We Help Protect Your Family

Less than half of Americans have a will in place, which means less than half of Americans are actually prepared for the worst when it comes to their children. Are you part of the percentage that doesn’t have a will or guardianship in place? The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC can get you started right away. Please call us (978) 263-6900 today or click here to contact us. We look forward to seeing you soon and caring for your family.

The following two tabs change content below.

The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm

At The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm, PC, we answer your questions at your convenience; we stay in frequent communication; and we meet to discuss changes in life circumstances and in the law to ensure that your assets are protected.

Latest posts by The Parents Estate Planning Law Firm (see all)

%d bloggers like this: