Choose a Guardian for Your Children as Part of a Complete Estate Plan
A key part of estate planning is making sure that minor children are provided for. This entails more than naming them as heirs to your estate; it requires that you designate a guardian or guardians to care for your children if you die. This is usually done as part of writing a will. The guardian you name, if approved by the court, will provide food, clothing, and shelter for the child. He or she will also be responsible for seeing that the child receives an education and instruction in values or religious beliefs that mirror yours. Because of the critical importance of these duties, it is important that you choose a guardian whose outlook and morals are similar to yours.
Guidance on establishing a guardianship
At the Illinois law firm of Sheryl E. Fuhr & Associates, our attorneys advise people on the choice of a guardian for their children. As part of developing a comprehensive estate plan, we remind people that their adult siblings may not be the best guardians if they do not share your philosophy of child rearing or place a similar value on education. Above all, we stress that that the minute you have children, even if you are barely of legal age yourself, you must plan for the unthinkable and make sure that your children will be safe in the event of your death.
Contact an attorney at our office to discuss naming a guardian for your children. We have helped many people select a guardian and create a guardianship. We have developed criteria that allow clients to think objectively about this emotionally charged issue.
Why this is important
One of the reasons we stress the importance of this part of estate planning is that we have seen the consequences of parents not taking this step. In particular, we have watched families self-destruct over battles between grandparents and siblings for custody of the children when the parents are killed in an accident. We have seen court-appointed guardians try hard, mean well, and fail miserably. Don't let this happen to your children. Instead, think now about creating a guardianship.
At Sheryl E. Fuhr & Associates, we talk honestly about this sometimes difficult issue. We believe it is very important, and want our clients to do more than just believe in its importance. We want them to take action. Contact us today.