If you have minor children, part of your estate planning should include naming a guardian for your children. By naming a guardian, you are taking steps to ensure that your children are raised by someone who you feel is best suited for the task. However, there are some problems that can arise from your selection. Here are some of the most common problems and what you can do.
The Guardian Is Bad With Money
Even though the person you want to be the guardian of your children is a good choice for raising them, he or she might not be as good with managing your children's finances. As a result, money that you leave to care for the children could be mismanaged.
If you are concerned that your guardian selection is going to have problems with money management, you can name a separate person to oversee the finances. He or she can ensure that all of your children's financial needs are met, which leaves the guardian free to raise the children.
You Have a Blended Family
If you have a blended family, choosing a guardian can be especially complicated. You and your spouse have to decide whether to try and keep the kids together or to select different guardians for each set of kids.
If both sets of children have a surviving parent, then the children would most likely reside with them. For instance, if your children's mother or father were still alive, and you and your spouse have passed away, the mother or father would most likely have custody of the children. However, if the other parent of both sets of children are unable to raise them, a guardian is needed.
Although it might not be desirable, it is legal to separate the children, if necessary. Whether or not you do is a decision that is strictly up to you and your spouse. However, you should discuss it with your children to understand how they feel about the situation.
Your Family Disagrees
In the event that your family disagrees with your guardian selection, this could complicate matters. Family members could choose to challenge the guardian in court for custody of the children.
Your children's welfare is paramount to your family's wishes. If you feel that the guardian you have selected is the best to raise your children, explain that to your family. By explaining it to your family, you can help them understand your selection choice. Include an additional explanation of your choice with your will. It can be used as evidence if your family does decide to challenge your wishes.
Selecting a guardian can be challenging because you want to be sure your choice is the best one possible. By taking the time to legally name someone, you can ensure that your wishes are respected and your children are cared for.
For further assistance, contact a local family law attorney, such as Robert L. Flanagan.