We all know that estate planning can be complicated, uncomfortable and scary. Talking about our deaths is never easy, but if you have kids without an estate plan, you need one, now.
Think about it this way: if you and your spouse pass, what happens to your kids? Who will take care of them? How will they live? If you cannot answer these questions without guessing, you need an estate plan that has a guardian.
What is a guardian and why are they important?
If you and your spouse pass or become incapacitated, the guardian will step in as your child’s parent. They will care for them, make decisions for them and, essentially, act in your place when you can no longer be there for them. Without that named guardian, your minor children would become wards of the Arizona foster care system.
How to choose the right one?
Well, you do not have to choose just one. You can choose your best friends, of course, but think about who would be a good parent, who shares your values and would raise your child the way you want. You can choose a singular guardian, but you can also choose married couples as well.
However, it is recommended that you always name more than one. In fact, you should have a list of guardians as contingents if the first one doesn’t work out, just in case something happens or a Tucson area guardian changes their mind.
Do not surprise the guardian with their new duties
The first time your designated guardian hears about their new duties should not be from a family member or court officer. Instead, you and your spouse should talk to all of the guardians now. Let them know the order, and make sure they actually want to be guardians. Make sure they know what that means, and get their buy-in before adding them to your estate plan.
A Southern Arizona trust is a good way to ensure that your kids’ financial well-being is considered as well. The trust can be filled with your life insurance policies and the proceeds from the sale of all of your assets, which will not be passed onto your kids and family. Through a trust, another independent, such as an estate-planning attorney, can make sure your kids always have access to the resources they need without the worry that they will “blow it” or waste it.