The Wall Street Journal typically focuses their editorial slant on financial assets, but an article last week actually touches on a much more important aspect of estate planning: Who will take care of your children if you die? It’s a tough question to face, but if ignored, it leaves the fate of an orphaned child entirely up to someone who usually is a stranger—a judge.
If you are the parent (or grandparent) of a minor child, here are some tips to get you motivated to complete proper planning:
Choose a guardian for now. Remember, you can change your mind and modify your will in the future.
Think outside the box. The guardian you name does not have to be a blood relative.
Remember that nobody’s perfect. You probably are not a “perfect” (i.e., flawless) choice to parent your own children—neither is anyone else.
Consider a mixed approach. You may want to name someone who is great with the kids as a guardian for your children, while at the same time name a different guardian for the estate to handle the finances.