It is a question no one likes to think about.
It’s also one of the most important questions that should be discussed after you have kids.
What will happen to your children if both you and your spouse die? Who will care for them?
We all know having a will is important, but yet only 32% of Americans have actually created one. If you do not have a will, the court will appoint a guardian for your children. In most cases, a family member will step up to care for your kids. Yet, it’s the court’s discretion regarding who they see as the best fit. Is it who you would have picked?
To avoid this situation, you and your partner should discuss who you would like to be the guardian of your children in the event that you both pass away. This is a very personal decision. The person’s morals, values, and parenting styles should be considered when selecting a guardian. In addition, their age and location should also be considered. Will the person be able to keep up with the energy of your children? Are they in good health? Will your children be able to stay in the same school district? These are all important questions to ask when making your decision.
Many people choose a family member or close friend. When you agree on a person with your partner, you should ask the prospective guardian if they are willing to accept this responsibility. It is also wise to have an alternate guardian in case something happens to the first guardian. The first and alternate guardians should be listed in your will.
As part of the guardianship clause in your will, you should also discuss whether a separate person should be named to manage your children’s financial estate. This is not necessary, but many people find it a beneficial check and balance to have another person to manage the inheritance, especially if it is a sizable estate. This person can ensure the primary guardian is spending the children’s money wisely and with the children’s best interests in mind.
An experienced attorney with guardianship experience will be able to walk you through this and many other scenarios when creating a will and estate plan. In the Savannah area, Smith Barid is happy to help your will and any other questions you may have. Please contact us today to set up an appointment!