How to designate a guardian for your minor child

Soon-to-be parents in Bridgewater may be very busy readying the nursery and attending doctor’s appointments. Yet many parents overlook one important step in preparing for the new arrival — designating a legal guardian for their child should both parents pass away before the child is grown.

Execute a will

There are many good reasons to execute a will. Not only can you designate which heirs are to inherit your estate, but you can designate a legal guardian for your minor children. In addition, in your will you can provide information about how you want your child brought up, for example, what school you want your child to attend or what religion you want your child to participate in.

Many people put off executing a will. They may feel uncomfortable thinking about their eventual death, or they may simply be busy and do not make it a priority. However, executing a will sooner rather than later is important, as no one is guaranteed a long life.

Make sure the guardian is willing and able to fulfill the role

When selecting a guardian, it is tempting to name a close relative to fulfill this role. However, a guardian must be willing and able to fulfill this role. For example, you could name a grandparent to serve as guardian, but due to their advanced age they may be unable to fulfill this role when the time comes. When choosing a guardian have an honest discussion with that person, to ensure they are willing and able to fulfill this role if necessary.

Review your will periodically

It is important to review your will periodically, to ensure your choice of guardian is still appropriate. For example, if there was a divorce in the family, this can affect who you have designated as guardian for your children. If you need to amend your will to reflect your new wishes, do not put off doing so. It is relatively easy with the help of an attorney.

Learn more about estate planning

Choosing a guardian for your child is an important step to take to ensure your child is cared for should the unthinkable happen. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on estate planning may be a useful resource for those who are ready to complete this task.