You are not alone if you have children but no estate plan. Many people wrongfully believe that only wealthy people require an estate plan, but in reality, estate plans are for everyone. Without an estate plan, your children’s future becomes less certain.
In the U.S., only about 30% of the population has an estate plan. For parents with young children, the lack of an estate plan can have devastating results if something happens to them before their children reach the age of majority.
What to consider when appointing a guardian
Choosing a guardian can be one of the most difficult decisions you make in your estate plan. First, determine whether you want to appoint a couple or a single person. While most consider couples, do not rule out a single person. When picking a couple, you must determine what will happen if the couple divorces. Other factors include:
- Age and health of the guardian
- Location and lifestyle of the guardian
- Values of the guardian
You want to choose someone who will be able to respect your values and how you want to raise your children. Likewise, the guardian should be a person likely to be in your children’s lives for a long time.
What to do when appointing a guardian
To appoint a guardian, you should always talk to your choice. You do not want to choose someone who may not want the responsibility or cannot handle it. Once you discuss with them, you can add them to your legal estate planning documents.
Remember that as you choose a guardian, you may also want to consider other options if something happens to your first choice.